Thursday, February 16, 2006


Cellphone could crack RFID tags

`A well known cryptographer has applied power analysis techniques to crack passwords for the most popular brand of RFID tags.

Adi Shamir, professor of computer science at the Weizmann Institute, reported his work in a high-profile panel discussion at the RSA Conference here. Separately, Ron Rivest, who co-developed the RSA algorithms with Shamir, used the stage of the annual panel to call for an industry effort to create a next-generation hashing algorithm to replace today’s SHA-1.

In recent weeks, Shamir used a directional antenna and digital oscilloscope to monitor power use by RFID tags while they were being read. Patterns in power use could be analyzed to determine when the tag received correct and incorrect password bits, he said.’

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