Book Review: RFID Security
Published by Syngress,
The authors have done a good job illustrating technical
concepts with straightforward explanations and everyday examples. By the end of
the first chapter, I felt like an expert in the inner workings of RFID, even
though I started with only the foggiest notions of how it all worked.
The reader will quickly understand the differences in RFID
technologies used for various purposes like access cards for entering
buildings, The SpeedPass keys at Shell stations, automated toll systems on the
highways, or the electronic merchandise tags at Wal-Mart.
Just differentiating those technologies makes the book
worthwhile. Then the second half takes the reader on the adventure of breaking
and enhancing the security of RFID systems. RFID is fundamentally susceptible
to min-in-the-middle attacks and cloning. In the information security world,
those threats gave rise to technologies like firewalls, virtual private
networks (VPNs), and intrusion detection systems (IDS). However in most of
today’s RFID deployments security is downright ignored. Even systems like door
access controls – themselves designed for security purposes – suffer basic
The last section of the book explores ways to secure RFID
systems. This section gets a bit technical and may only be interesting to the
most devoted security professional, but if you make it through to the end
you’ll have a solid understanding of when to use RFID, when to avoid it, and
how to ensure the greatest value.