RFID Security and Privacy Issues

RFID Security & Privacy Issues You Need to be Aware of

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) is the technology that uses radio frequency for the identification of the objects

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) is the technology that uses radiofrequency for the identification of the objects.

RFID tags are usually wireless devices that have electronic data stored within them consisting of unique identity numbers.

This unique identification number is the medium through which communication is done with the receiver.
RFID uses wireless frequencies, which by their nature respond to any type of signal without proper verification standards.

Thus, it is prone to attacks like Eavesdropping, Man-in-the-middle attack, etc.

5 Security Concerns Associated with RFID

Duplicate Designs

Reverse engineering is the process of understanding the design of a particular object to extract its complete knowledge.

Hackers analyze the IC chip to understand the working of RFID enabled objects. Still, a lot of knowledge related to protocols used in it is needed to completely hack it.

Various considerations that the hackers might use to replicate the design are as below:

  • Visual inspection of the chips.
  • Evaluating frequencies.
  • Protocol inferences.

Energy Consumption

Power consumptions are different in RFID devices whenever there is an update of correct or incorrect password.

Hackers analyze these power consumptions to have a surety while manipulating the RFID device.

These types of attacks can simply be carried out by hackers even with the use of cell phones.

This study of power consumption by hackers allows them to evaluate the time needed for the complete operation, thus raising the possibilities of time-based attacks.

Snooping Attacks

These types of attacks are also called Eavesdropping attacks. These types of attacks happen due to unsecured network communication.

In this type of attack, data that is being transmitted through the network is stolen. Mainly a weakened connection is responsible for sending the network traffic to a hacker.

A sniffing device is used in this attack to intercept the data while it is being transmitted.

Protection from these types of devices can be done by keeping various checks on the type of operating system being used, dependency on VPN networks, firewalls, updated anti-virus software.

Replay Attacks

RFID tags are prone to replay attacks too. Replay attacks simply mean that the attacker records a particular signal that has been sent earlier as well to the decoder and then the same signal is transmitted again in order to receive the information.

This poses a serious security lapse when it comes to safeguarding the information within an RFID device.


This type of security threat to RFID tags is as of now seen as the futuristic security concern because of the low memory capacity of the RFID tags.

Eventually, this too can pose a serious security threat to any organization using the RFID tag in its daily operations. The virus can be planted on the RFID tags.

Whenever this tag gets read by another device, the virus will enter the system of the organization and thus deprive them of their valuable data.

2 Privacy Issues with RFID

Identify Risks

Some of the RFID tags would hold the information of a particular person. The risk arises when the same information is accessed by an unauthorized user.

Misuse of Monetary Information

Shopping centers are the main places where we find the maximum usage of RFID devices. RFID chips on Debit/Credit cards have digital information regarding a particular account holder.

The data that gets collected at POS is not always in safe hands. Even the retailers can themselves, misuse these types of electronic data.


RFID tags might have been present since the time of World War. But with the advancements in technology today in every aspect, it feels that the time has come to put in a lot of work in regards to its protection.

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About Jason Hoffman

I am the Director of Sales and Marketing at Wisdomplexus, capturing market share with E-mail marketing, Blogs and Social media promotion. I spend major part of my day geeking out on all the latest technology trends like artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, cloud computing, 5G and many more. You can read my opinion in regards to these technologies via blogs on our website.