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  • Editing Team 18:27 on November 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , security   

    The Secret of NFC Security 

    NFC-security-rfid-blogThe security of NFC is designed to be invisible, working behind the scenes so that you have a seamless and convenient experience without cumbersome security measures.

    In the quick tap of your mobile device to the NFC reader, there are many security steps involved. Some have already occurred even before the information exchange takes place. To be able to do all of the many NFC use cases, your information needs to be securely stored on your mobile.

    But how does it get there?

    Inside your phone there is a smart chip known as a secure element (SE), and it acts as a Fort Knox that can store your personal information and receive updates. Another piece of the security puzzle is what we refer to as a TSM, or trusted service manager, and it manages the NFC service applications by acting as a trusted intermediary.

     
  • Editing Team 17:04 on October 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , security   

    Swiss Oncology Center Prevents Errors via RFID 

    Swiss-oncology-center-RFID-blog

    To ensure that every patient receives the proper therapy specific to his condition, Riviera Hospital, a new oncology center in Switzerland, has deployed an RFID-based solution.

    With the solution in place, the facility is able to treat patients at a rate of 10-15 minutes each, while it was 15-20 minutes per patient without RFID technology, the center’s management estimates. But more importantly, says Riviera Hospital’s Marc Pachoud, linking an ID number on a patient’s ID card with the IDs of any treatment devices used on that individual provides assurance that no patient receives inappropriate therapy.

    The medical center employs radiotherapy technology vendor Elekta’s Versa HD, a high-dose radiotherapy device, to deliver radiation beams to the particular part of a patient’s body requiring treatment. The RFID system consists of an UHF RFID reader installed on the Versa HD device, as well as RFID tags embedded in cards carried or worn by patients. Tags are also attached to the radiotherapy treatment accessories to be used on patients, enabling the software to issue an alert in the event that the wrong treatment is being applied.

    Thanks to the RFID technology, Pachoud says, the center has been able to safely treat patients at a rate of one every 10 minutes, since technicians are now informed automatically about whether the correct equipment is present before a patient’s radiation treatment begins. Without the technology, the staff must visually inspect each item and compare it against the electronic record in order to prevent any errors from occurring.

     
  • Editing Team 17:41 on July 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , security   

    Keep Your RFID Card Safe from ID Thieves 

    As is known to many, RFID stands for radio frequency identification, and it is making its way to modern day credit cards. These “smart cards” are supposed to be more convenient than traditional credit cards because you do not have to swipe the cards to use them. All you do is brush them up next to a credit card reader, and it processes your payment request.

    Convenient as they are, these cards can also be easily compromised. A significant percentage of the high-tech credit card fraud taking place has something to do with smart cards and RFID. So it is important to protect yourself if you decide to use a card that has RFID.

    The key names to look for in RFID credit cards are Visa PayWave, MasterCard PayPass, American Express ExpressPay and Discover Zip.

    If you have an RFID credit card, there are a few things you can do to protect it from identity thieves:

    ■Tyvek sleeves: Tyvek credit card sleeves are inexpensive, and they have the ability to block RFID signals. You can make these yourself with Tyvek material, or you can buy them already made in the size of a credit card. Tyvek is most often used for construction workers, so make sure you include the term “credit card” if you’re going to run an Internet search for them.

    ■RFID wallets: RFID wallets can be a bit expensive to buy, but they will protect the cards you own from hackers passing by. All you have to do is put your money and cards in your wallet and the material on the outside of the wallet will do the rest.

    ■Account monitoring: Simply watching your account could be the best protection possible. You could be a victim of identity theft no matter what kind of card you have.

    If you are still concerned about security, try looking for a card that does not have RFID technology. You may have to spend a few extra seconds swiping it at the register, but that will be worth the peace of mind.

     
  • Editing Team 16:23 on July 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: privacy, , security   

    Benefits and Functionality of RFID Could Overshadow Privacy Concerns 

    privacy-concerns-RFID-blogAs the adoption of RFID technology grows, concerns over privacy is increasing. However, an information security expert believes that the benefits and functionality of the technology could overshadow privacy concerns.

    RFID refers to the wireless and contactless use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, in order to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. These tags contain electronically stored information and can be battery-powered or not powered. They can be read at a range varying from 10cm to 200m depending on the type of tag.

    RFID is used widely across several industries, including transportation, logistics, fashion, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals.

    Unlike a conventional barcode, an RFID tag does not need to be within line of sight of the reader, and it may be embedded in the tracked object. It is this feature of RFID which has led to the eruption of privacy concerns. Furthermore, forgery and other illegitimate or unauthorized uses of the technology could also pose a hindrance to its adoption.

    “There have been widespread concerns about how individuals and organizations access data,” said Nicolai Solling, director of technology services at Help AG, an IT security services provider. “With high-security applications such as passports and payment cards, the risks are rather obvious. Someone with a cloned tag — which is effectively a forged copy even though it may not physically look anything like the original tag — may be able to make purchases or travel under your identity.”

    As tags can be attached to clothing and possessions, privacy concerns also abound over whether these tags can be used for unauthorized tracking of people.

    According to a Harvard report, RFID tags can be embedded into a wide variety of consumer goods such as clothes, shoes, books, and key cards, without the consumer being aware of their presence. These tags can also be tracked by anyone — an issue compounded by the fact that RFID readers will eventually be cheap to acquire and easily concealable.

    “Irrespective of the security concerns, due to this ease of deployment, general simplicity and convenience of the technology, we are definitely going to see RFID being used for the foreseeable future,” Solling said. “Unfortunately, organizations are not always aware of the inherent security risks associated with technology…This is where the industry really has to step in — both to raise awareness and to help formulate standards upon which such technologies can be securely developed.”

     
  • Editing Team 10:41 on July 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , security   

    Malaysia Speed Up Implementation of RFID Vehicle Registration System 

    Malaysia-e-plat-vehicle-registration-RFID-blogIn order to curb incidences of car theft and other vehicles-related criminal activities, the Royal Malaysian Police is calling on the government and other relevant stakeholders to speed up the implementation of the smart registration number plate system (e-plat).

    The system will be using RFID technology, an electronic device that uses radio waves to speed up the transmission of communication data for the purpose of identifying, locating and sensing the conditions of objects.

    e-plat will be affixed to metal license plates and serve as an electronic identification card to automatically identify vehicles and to verify whether they are properly registered.

    “With the e-plat, we can detect criminals using fake registration numbers and also prevent cars from being stolen,” said Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, adding that the same technology is being used in France and Australia in similar initiatives.

    “Using e-plat on all vehicles will help us reduce crime. In addition, data recorded in e-plat will assist police to detect the criminals and location of the car,” he said.

     
  • Editing Team 07:47 on March 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , security   

    Loksak’s RFID-shielding Bags Keep off Unauthorized Read 

    Loksak-radiation-shielding-bag-RFID-blogGiven that today many smartphones are embedded with RFID/NFC chips which some people may worry about the security problem. One solution is to use Loksak’s products, the aLoksak waterproof clear bag and the Shieldsak radiation-proof shiny one. Both are available in many convenient sizes. Yet unfortunately there is no product that does both.

    Making a waterproof ziplock bag is easy, but making it really waterproof, reusable and durable is a bigger challenge. With the aLoksak, you can use electronics through it, at least those with buttons or capacitive touch screens. The other product, Shieldsak, is quite a bit more interesting. This silver velcro bag is a two-layer Faraday cage.

    What Loksak does is far from rocket science. They make bags that seal right against liquids or radiation, and that is all they do. You can get a 3-pack of Loksaks starting under $8, and the Shieldsak starts at under $65, both for the smallest sizes. Not rocket science, but very useful to have around, especially with the cost of cell phones and the ubiquity of hidden RFID tags.

     
  • Editing Team 09:08 on March 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , security   

    New RFID Security Card Generates One-time Password for Secure Log-in 

    security-card-one-time-password-RFID-blogInfineon and Bundesdruckerei GmbH have worked together to develop a new RFID security card with an LED display and a one-time password. The card contains a security chip which generates a one-time password for each transaction and displays this on the integrated LED display.

    The new contactless security card combines static and dynamic PIN. The future holder receives the card with a static password that can be made up of a sequence of numbers. Each time the card is used, a dynamic PIN supplement (one-time password) is requested. The dynamic PIN is automatically generated for each transaction by the security chip in the card and displayed on the integrated LED display.

    The chip uses the energy radiated from the card reader to power the security chip and generate the password as well as to power the display elements. The LED display itself is embedded into the card so that the digits light up on the card surface.

    Requesting the one-time password in addition to the static password adds security of authentication and payment applications and protects against attacks on e.g. company networks and against card manipulation. Even if the static PIN is stolen or read out by malware, it cannot be used by an unauthorized party when the dynamic PIN supplement is missing. The dynamic PIN, on the other hand, is only generated on the card and cannot be read from the card’s display by malware.

    The card can be used for all log-in scenarios, such as logging in at a PC into a company network or into social networks on the net. The new technology is also suitable for many other card systems. It could be used, for instance, to boost security for card payments (EC cards or credit cards).

     
  • Editing Team 11:49 on January 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gun, , , security, ,   

    Firearms Distributors Use RFID to Track Guns 

    firearm-distributors-track-gun-rfid-blogTwo gun distributors — American Tactical Imports (ATI) and AmChar Wholesale — are deploying an RFID solution to help them track when firearms are received, stored and shipped, and to send an alert if a weapon ends up missing.

    The solution involves the attachment of EPC Gen 2 RFID tags to guns, and the use of fixed and handheld RFID readers to determine goods’ locations when they are received at the warehouse, as well as when they are shipped to gun shops or other customers. Retailers could also use the readers to track the firearms’ arrival and sale.

    The solution is provided by logistics-management software firm AdvanTech. The firearms industry is traditionally low-tech, says Paul Lowe — AdvanTech’s director of technology integration services, and distributors and retailers usually record weapons sales in paper notebooks. “There have been various computerized systems,” he explains, but these require workers to scan a bar code or type information into a system in order to enter data regarding a weapon’s receipt or sale.

    Now, ATI’s warehouse staff will read the tags as firearms are received at its dock doors, as well as when the goods are stored within locked cages, removed from those cages and eventually shipped. In this way, ATI can ensure that weapons do not end up missing during the time between their receipt and storage in the locked cages, or following their removal from the cages prior to shipment to a retailer.

     
  • Editing Team 09:07 on December 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , security,   

    Stop Worrying, and Embrace RFID 

    stop-worrying-embrace-RFID-blogRadio-frequency identification (RFID) is a convenient technology of using embedded chips as a form of tracking and authentication. It is now fairly common to have pets implanted with RFID chips, so that they can be identified even without a collar.

    As more and more RFID products are being put into use, there has been a number of religious and privacy advocates opposing the technology. Yet in reality, RFID isn’t that scary, and we should embrace it.

    Now, some schools require students to wear RFID-equipped badges so they can track students’ movement on campus for funding and truancy purposes. One of the students in these schools refused to wear the badge on religious and privacy grounds. In response, the school suspended her until she agrees to use the school ID. Thus a legal battle ensued, and a judge temporarily lifted the school suspension until the case can proceed later.

    In fact, these concerns are minor and based on fear of technology. The case mentioned above is just a tinfoil hat situation on a larger scale than normal. Besides, the low-tech method of having teachers taking roll call in class is even more inconvenient and time-consuming. If this was legitimately about privacy concerns, advocates would be against roll call in school as well. Instead, this whole situation is about fear-mongering — not privacy concerns.

    Although there are some issues concerning the technology, specifically relating to other people accessing the information on the chip, this can be solved as the technology advances. Preventing unauthorized access to the chip’s data is a problem, but it can be handled with cryptography. For example, using a PIN or rolling code can thwart evil-doers successfully. Besides, some manufacturers are now concerning biometric technology on mobile devices. In the future, it may become an effective means of identification. But if you are still worried about other people reading your RFID chip, you can cover it in an RF-blocking wallet

    Behavior is the real problem here — not technology. RFID is a useful tool and it’s already being used by big companies like Wal-mart and organizations like the Department of Defense in the United States for authentication and tracking purposes.

    Yes, it’s true that RFID might be abused by some evil-doers, but it’s just like anything else and the technology isn’t inherently bad. After all, common technology like smartphones and tablets are more susceptible to nefarious use. Thus we should embrace RFID and stop worrying about the tech so much. Just give it a break.

     
  • Editing Team 17:41 on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , security   

    Zippo’s Stainless Steel Wallet Prevents RFID-using Criminals 

    Zippo-stainless-steel-wallet-prevent-criminal-rfid-blog1

    As is known, RFID technology uses radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to take data from a tag on an object or a card, which may be used by thieves from yards away.

    Therefore, concerns over the potential threats of RFID have grown as awareness about how many products contains RFID tags has increased. RFID tags can be found in medications, clothing, and other goods to track them throughout the manufacturing process.

    Zippo-stainless-steel-wallet-prevent-criminal-rfid-blog2Zippo has a solution. Its wallet is encased in stainless steel and can prevent RFID-using criminals from swiping your credit card information, just like a small safe in your pocket or purse.

    The new Zippo wallet’s stainless steel outer shell not only gives the wallet a sleek look, but also blocks RFID with its RF shield.

    It features six slots for credit cards, an I.D. window and money pocket.

    The wallet is priced at $49.95 and is available on Zippo.com.

     
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