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Rfi dtechnology.doc

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Rfi dtechnology.doc

  1. 1. Emerging Technologies Series (Volume 2.1.) By Nora Boyle 5/25/2011 The RFID Solution Radio Frequency I.D. is a low tech, high concept approach to ‘tagging’ objects electronically. Dubbed ‘spy chips’ by some, there are tremendous business benefits for speeding up travel, emergency services, and perhaps, tracking child predators – and products. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, and is capable of storing, remotely retrieving, and collecting data through the RFID tags or transponder device. RFID uses a tag incorporated into a product, animal, or person to identify, track, and locate the embedded person or thing using radio waves. The RFID ‘tags’ are read from remote locations. Radio-frequency identification comprises interrogators sometimes referred to 'readers, and tags also referred to labels. Range and Distance The read range of a tag is limited to the distance from the reader over which the tag can draw enough energy from the reader field to power the tag. Read distance then becomes the signal-to-noise ratio of the signal reflected from the tag back to the reader. Researchers at two security conferences have demonstrated that passive Ultra-HighFID tags, not of the HighFID type used in US passports, normally read at ranges of up to 30 feet, can be read at ranges of 50 to 69 feet using suitable equipment. Read range is both a function of the reader and the tag itself. Improvements in technology may increase read ranges for tags. Having readers very close to the tags makes short range tags readable. Tags may be read at longer ranges than they are designed for by increasing reader power. Depending on the RFID transmitter and reader improvements allow tags to be scanned and read from up to 350 feet or 100 m as in Smart Label RFID's, and because RFID utilizes an assortment of frequencies, there is some concern over whether sensitive information could be collected from an unwilling source. RFID tags contain at least two parts, an integrated circuit for information storage and processing and modulating a radio-frequency (RF) signal, and the second is an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal. Types of RFID tags ● Active RFID tags equipped with a battery so as to electricity transmit signals autonomously, ● Passive RFID tags which have no battery and require an external source to provoke signal transmission, ● Battery Assisted Passive (BAP) tags require an external source to activate have significant higher forward link capability providing great read range.
  2. 2. Emerging Technologies Series (Volume 2.1.) By Nora Boyle 5/25/2011 Applications RFID is now part of mobile computing and internet technologies, allowing companies and organizations to identify and manage their assets. Integrated RFID readers deliver a complete set of tools that eliminate paperwork, prove identity and attendance, thus eliminating manual data entry. Web based management tools can monitor assets from anywhere in the world with web applications that allow third party access to that data in real time. Many organizations use RFID tags combined with a mobile asset management solution to record and monitor the location of their assets, the status, and/or the condition. RFID is used in retail for product inventory and storage, and is a superior self checkout process for consumers. Not only do RFID tags enhance Product tracking methods, but begin with factory-based production through to post-sale. Companies use RFID to track I.T. assets where previously they were been recorded by barcodes. Current uses include animal management or an ear tag for herd management, inventory, commuting cars, and for passports, and prison inmate tracking, even for parolees. Commuting Already RFID tags are used for electronic toll collection in many states. The E-Z Pass, an ETC system used on most tolled roads, bridges, and tunnels has provided commuters a swift bypass of coin or man operated tolls. E-Z Pass is usually offered as a debit account: tolls are deducted from prepayments made by the users. Most rental cars come equipped with the transponder. The tags are read remotely as vehicles pass through tollbooths, and information gleaned not only debits the toll amount but the system records the date, time, and billing data for the vehicle. This eliminates the need to identify the car by its license plate. Passports RFID tags are used in passports issued by many countries, including Malaysia, New Zealand, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Ireland, Japan, Pakistan, Germany, Portugal, Poland, Spain, The United Kingdom, Australia, Korea, Serbia, and the United States. The first RFID passports or "E-passport" contained the visual data of the passport, and recorded the travel history (time, date, and place) of entries and exits from the country. Now, they include biometrics and a digital signature to ensure the integrity of the passport. The currently standardized biometrics used for this type of identification system are facial, fingerprint, and iris recognition. These were adopted after assessment of several different kinds of biometrics including retinal scanning. A digital signature or digital signature scheme is a type of cryptography where if messages are sent through an insecure channel, a properly implemented digital signature gives the receiver reason to believe the message was sent by the claimed sender. Correctly monitored, digital signatures are more difficult to forge than the handwritten type. In 2006, RFID tags were included in new US passports. The chips store the same information that is printed within the passport and also includes a digital picture of the owner. The passport and chips can be read from a distance of 33 feet away and
  3. 3. Emerging Technologies Series (Volume 2.1.) By Nora Boyle 5/25/2011 incorporate a thin metal lining to make it more difficult for unauthorized readers to "skim" information when the passport is closed. The State Department has implemented Basic Access Control (BAC), which functions as a Personal Identification Number (PIN) in the form of characters printed on the passport data page. Before a passport's tag can be read, this PIN must be entered into an RFID reader. Baggage Claims Hong Kong International Airport uses RFID sticker tags on all incoming baggage when received, encoded with the destination and flight. Military The Iraqi army uses an RFID security card that contains a biometric picture of the soldier. The picture in the chip must match the picture on the card and prevents forgeries and theft. The United States Department of Defense recently adopted RFID tagging for supply chain management in 2007. Employee Access Many places that employ traditional swipe cards for entry are shifting to RFID no-contact cards. Poker RFID tags are embedded into playing cards used for televised poker tournaments, so commentators know exactly what cards have been dealt to whom, as soon as the deal is complete. And, some casinos are embedding RFID tags into their chips. This allows the casinos to track the locations of chips on the casino floor, identify counterfeit chips, and prevent theft. There are some casinos that use RFID systems to study the betting behavior of players. Products Superstores like Wal-Mart, Target, and others, have pushed for embedding electronic product code (EPC) RFID tags into all their products. The Post Office is also considering embedding RFID in postage stamps and packages to enable point to point tracking. Human identification Micro-chipping pets have become commonplace, but micro-chipping humans? After the success of various animal identification uses since the early '90's RFID research has ventured into various human tracking alternatives. Some vendors place them in clothing. A few examples of human RFID tags are: Osaka, Japan - school authorities in have chipped children's clothing, back packs, and student IDs in school. England – The same student tagging it is being considered through a pilot program for a monitoring system designed to keep tabs on pupils by tracking radio chips in their uniforms. Also in England, one school began using an RFID card system to check in and out of
  4. 4. Emerging Technologies Series (Volume 2.1.) By Nora Boyle 5/25/2011 the main gate, to both track attendance and prevent unauthorized entrance. The Philippines - some schools already use RFID in IDs for borrowing books and equipped gates with RFID ID scanners for in-school stores, the cafeteria, and the library, and both students and teachers must sign in for attendance. And, there are home RFID systems to track the elderly or infirmed patients in case they should wander off. RFID chips designed for animal tagging are also implanted in humans, after an early experiment by a British professor of cybernetics who implanted a chip in his arm in 1998. And in 2004, the Mexican Attorney General implanted its staff members with the Verichip to control access to a secure data room. Verichip is approved by the FDA as a human implant RFID. A person gets a tiny tag implanted into his right arm and transmits a 16 digit number that links to a database for identification, medical records, and tracking. According to the FDA, an RFID chip implant poses potential medical risk from electrical hazards, MRI incompatibility, adverse tissue reaction, and possible migration of the implanted transponder. And security experts are not convinced that the risk of identity theft is foolproof. Tracking prison inmates with RFID is underway in several states. The prisoners wear wristwatch-sized transmitters that detect attempted removal and alerts prison computers. Facilities in Ohio, Michigan, California, and Illinois employ the technology. Ankle Monitor The electronic ankle monitor sends either a radio frequency or a GPS signal to a receiver if the offender moves out of range. The police are notified, and the offender hopefully apprehended. This has been in use for those under house arrest, and as of 2007, approximately 130,000 units were used in the United States. With the advance in cellular and broadband networks in the 1990s, the tracking device allows offenders to roam about at a greater range. Parolees The implications for law enforcement are under review, as government budgets tighten, prison populations’ overflow, and parolees are left unmonitored. Recent events in child predator cases reveal paroled sex offenders were not adequately supervised and committed crimes that had escalated from molestation and rape to murder. Certain types of offenders might be eligible for electronic tagging to ascertain their whereabouts, track their movements, and alert law enforcement should they violate their parole. This human tracking comes under scrutiny from watchdogs of privacy laws, but given the increased numbers of parolees, law enforcement and court probation officers are overwhelmed.
  5. 5. Emerging Technologies Series (Volume 2.1.) By Nora Boyle 5/25/2011 Privacy The monitoring systems, including the ‘cuff’ or ankle monitor, allow parolees to hold down jobs, stay within certain boundaries, and maintain curfews. There are also devices that monitor blood alcohol levels, to prohibit drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel. While most people laud these advances, there is a backlash. People fear their privacy will be invaded up to the point where the government tracks everybody and everything. RFID is permeating society on many levels, from employee badges to each and every product that people buy. It is on the clothing that they wear, but mostly, this is for inventory and marketing purposes, for access, and not surveillance. Infringement upon one’s civil liberties, however, is a plausible reality, should the system be abused. The technology gives the government the ability to ‘electronically frisk’ citizens without their knowledge or even their permission. One security concern is the illicit tracking of RFID tags. Tags which are world-readable pose a risk to both personal location privacy and corporate or military security. Will companies or groups attempt to use RFID for criminal or even political activities? The negatives for RFID include conjecture by theorists and Hollywood alike. While ‘Speedpass,’ the Exxon/Mobil gas card allows the driver to bypass the cashier, the RFID tag holds cryptographic information that according some use weak encryption keys that can be hacked easily. This was discovered after Ford Motors implemented its keyless car system using RFID where thieves could break the code and steal the car anyway. And, American Express and Chase Corp. issued RFID enabled credit cards, an innovative contactless pay system as a new feature in credit and debit cards, only hackers managed to compromise these too. Security experts have warned against using RFID for authenticating people due to the risk of identity theft. Unless the tags were equipped with a sophisticated protocol, someone could mug a person for their tag, and make it possible for an attacker to steal their identity of a person in real-time. As with the Iraqi soldier’s tag, there are methods of tagging, but due to the resource constraints of RFIDs it is virtually impossible to protect against all attack models as this would require complex distance-binding protocols. In ‘Zeitgeist” (2007) a movie written and directed by Peter Joseph, proposed RFID chips will one day be used to track the world population and keep them under control. The world banking institutions combine and use RFID as a negative technology. This theme is also the subject of research in both a book and a website called “Spychips,” which says, “How major corporations and government plan to track your every purchase and watch your every move.” They argue that consumer privacy is infringed by RFID and have started a group, CASPIAN, Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering. They are against customer loyalty programs with cards issued by large supermarkets to track their customers’ purchases and offer discounts.
  6. 6. Emerging Technologies Series (Volume 2.1.) By Nora Boyle 5/25/2011 Standards EPC Global, a joint venture between countries is working on international standards for the use of mostly passive RFID and the Electronic Product Code (EPC) in the identification of many items in the supply chain for companies worldwide. One of the missions of EPC global was to simplify all the protocols. These protocols, commonly known as Class 0 and Class 1, saw significant commercial implementation in 2002–2005. In 2004 the Hardware Action Group created a new protocol, the Class 1 Generation 2 interface, which addressed a number of problems that had been experienced with Class 0 and Class 1 tags. The EPC Gen2 standard was approved in December 2004, and is likely to form the backbone of passive RFID tag standards. The EPC Gen2 standard was adopted with minor modifications as ISO 18000-6C in 2006. EPC Global Network, by design, is also susceptible to service malfunctions as it uses a similar mechanism as Domain Name System (DNS) RFID is not immune to the same infrastructure security weaknesses by computer hackers familiar with network security. Bar-coding RFID tags are often a replacement for Universal Product Code or UPC or European Article Number (EAN). They may not ever completely replace barcodes, due in part to their higher cost and the advantage of multiple data sources on the same object. The new Electronic Product Code (EPC) is widely available at reasonable cost. The track items requires huge amounts of storage and filtering and categorizing RFID data is needed to create functional retrievable information, so there is a mixture of goods and inventory tracking by both RFID and by bar coding. A unique identity is a mandatory requirement for RFID tags, and each individual tag has a unique code, while current bar codes are limited to a single type code for a particular product. The uniqueness of RFID tags means that a product is tracked from its source location to every location therein until it hits the consumer. This combats theft and ensures quality control and loss prevention. Tracing the product from raw goods to consumer is crucial in manufacturing shipping, and inventory. Unique RFID identifiers along with serial numbers help companies trace defects, quality deficiencies, or any recall notices. The end result is consumer profiling and there are significant concerns and objection to this.
  7. 7. Emerging Technologies Series (Volume 2.1.) By Nora Boyle 5/25/2011 Deciphering Barcodes The first 3 digits of the barcode is the country code wherein the product was made. All barcodes that start with 690,691,692 until 695 are made in The People’s Republic of China, and 471 are made in Taiwan. Barcodes 00 ~ 13 USA & CANADA 30 ~ 37 FRANCE 40 ~ 44 GERMANY 49 ~ JAPAN 50 ~ UK 57 ~ Denmark 64 ~ Finland 76 ~ Switzerland and Liechtenstein 480 ~ Philippines 471 ~ Taiwan 629 ~ United Arab Emirates 628 ~ Saudi Arabia 740 to 745 ~ Central America 690 to 695 ~ China PRC Checkout RFID, like barcodes, can be used at the point of sale (POS) store checkout to replace the cashier. The automatic system replaces the barcode scanning now popular in many grocery stores as previously, the high cost of tags and existing POS process technologies prevented it. History The history of RFID began in 1946 when Léon Theremin invented an espionage tool for the Soviet Union which retransmitted incidental radio waves with audio information. Sound waves vibrated a diaphragm which slightly altered the shape of the resonator, and modulated the reflected radio frequency. He invented the infamous BUG. And, even though this was a passive covert listening device, not an identification tag, it spawned RFID technology. The Future Innovation and research is expansive and ongoing in the RFID field and here are a few indications of things to come: ● Potential alternatives to the radio frequencies used are seen in optical RFID or OPID at 333 Hertz, 380 THz, 750 THz. ● The antennas of RFID may be replaced with photovoltaic components and Infrared or LEDs on the integrated circuit (ICs). ● Low-frequency (Low FID) tags and high-frequency (HighFID) tags can be used globally without a license. ● Ultra-high-frequency (UHFID) tags cannot be used globally as there is no single global standard. ● Bandwidths are licensed and there are complex band restrictions globally ● Readers are required to monitor a channel before transmitting ("Listen Before Talk"); this requirement has led to some restrictions on performance with no current resolution ● Cryptographic protocols will achieve privacy against unauthorized readers Summary
  8. 8. Emerging Technologies Series (Volume 2.1.) By Nora Boyle 5/25/2011 RFID is deeply entwined with many emerging technologies and is here to stay. Its potential for useful applications far outweighs the privacy concerns of many, although regulations and vigilance can prevent unnecessary infringement upon personal freedoms. As RFID as used as a consumer tool will certainly undergo further scrutiny of practices by companies in retrieving personal data on the buyer. As a security measure, the ramifications for monitoring inmates and offenders are important to securing liberty for law abiding citizens. As budget crises continue to plague state and local governments, and prisons overflow with a burgeoning inmate population, this electronic form of social control may be the last frontier in humane treatment.