- February 27, 2006
A low cost spoofing and cloning attack has been demonstrated by researchers from Johns Hopkins Univ. and RSA Laboratories on some Texas Instruments’ RFID tag-based tokens, used for transport road tolling and the purchase of fuel at petrol stations, and as part of a car key vehicle immobilizer system.
The researchers created a cheap code-cracking device, from off the shelf Field Programmable Gate Array hardware, to brute force attack the 40-bit keyspace. They wrote software to simulate the radio protocols of the RFID tokens on a laptop computer connected to radio equipment.
RFID in Japan reports about RFID labels for metal surfaces—a problem area that has and is causing pain for a number of businesses working on implementing RFID in their supply chain. AICA Kogyo Co. and Toppan Forms Co. developed RFID labels that can be directly pasted on metal surfaces (like stickers). They are flexible and can be pasted on curved surfaces. Conventional RFID tags for metal surfaces are thick so as to avoid disturbance of RF signals. AICA Kogyo Co. developed a certain magnetic substance that can be used to create a thin layer between a label’s sticky surface and RFID chip/antenna.
Texas Instruments plans to deliver ISO/IEC 14443 compliant RFID chips designed to meet the stringent security requirements for MasterCard Intl.’s PayPass line of RFID payment cards and tokens. TI expects to submit this product for MasterCard certification in the second quarter of 2005, with full production planned to start in the second half of this year.
American Express recently announced that CVS will be the first national merchant partner to accept its ExpressPay RFID payment tokens and RFID-enabled credit cards. CVS currently has ExpressPay-enabled POS terminals in 485 stores in Arizona, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas, and Missouri, and plans a full roll out to its entire fleet of more than 5,300 stores by mid-2005. American Express also announced that it plans to expand ExpressPay’s availability to consumers nationwide in 2005.
SATO becomes a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, which is a global business network of more than 14,000 companies that deliver innovative enterprise software solutions based on Oracle software.
TI has announced broad industry support for its EPC Gen 2 technology through its collaboration with 12 leading printer and reader manufacturers: Avery Dennison, AWID, Datamax Corp., FEIG, Paxar, Printronix, SATO, Sirit, SAMSys, ThingMagic, WJ Communications, and Zebra Technologies Corp. TI is working with this alliance to ensure interoperability within the EPC Gen 2 RFID infrastructure and to drive accelerated adoption of EPC Generation 2 compliant solutions in the global retail supply chain. All of the companies are committed to providing products based on the EPC Gen 2 standard and are working in close collaboration with TI to bring to market a wide range of interoperable solutions for encoders, readers, printers, and hardware devices that support TI’s EPC Gen 2 products, which are planned for volume production beginning in the third quarter of 2005.
SAMSys joins Oracle PartnerNetwork to simplify RFID reader sourcing for Oracle partners and customers.
RFID Times reports the launch of RFID Global Solution, whose team members represent the leading and most respected professionals in the industry and are veterans of some of the largest RFID initiatives to date, including development of the world’s largest RFID network for the Dept. of Defense and the move to RFID at the world’s largest retailers.
Intel and Oracle have joined to work on both RFID and sensor-based technologies. The jointly produced data and supply chain management technologies will attempt to address this by integrating currently available products from Oracle and Intel.
Texas Instruments joins with the world’s third largest retailer, the METRO Group, in its Future Store Initiative as part of a move to develop and implement new RFID solutions based on the EPCglobal EPC Gen 2 standard for the retail industry. TI will pilot its RFID products in Metro’s Innovation Ctr., which provides world-class RFID development and demonstration facilities for the retail industry.
Royal Philips Electronics and Texas Instruments enter an agreement to cooperate on conformance testing for the technical interpretation of the EPCglobal EPC Gen 2 RFID standard. This joint effort is aimed at ensuring interoperability and accelerating market deployment of Gen 2 products, such as labels, hardware, and system solutions, to offer multiple sourcing for implementations of RFID throughout the world.
The Univ. of Arkansas formally opened a new RFID research center on June 10. The aim of the facility is to do primary research in three areas: technology deployment, data analytics, and business cases for deploying RFID.
Texas Instruments and Moore Wallace, an RR Donnelley Co., announce a multi-year strategic agreement to offer EPC Gen 2 smart label solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, TI will be a primary supplier of ultra-high frequency UHF EPC Gen 2 tag technology to Moore Wallace, which will provide EPC Gen 2 finished labels to the consumer products goods (CPGs), manufacturing, and pharmaceutical companies that are implementing RFID for supply chain applications.
Silicon.com reports a BEA Systems-sponsored survey suggests that only 29% of UK respondents thought RFID gave any benefits. Seven out of 10 respondents said they would need “a lot more information” before they made a decision about implementing it. The report said: “Benefits of RFID are not well understood…. Respondents also say RFID seems promising but they don’t know where to start.” Asset tracking, stock control, and order status tracking were the areas where RFID could create the biggest benefit. Six out of 10 said integration and data management would be the biggest issue for RFID implementations. Only five UK companies interviewed said they were using RFID now. Cranfield School of Management research fellow Dr. Andrew White says RFID is beginning to have an impact on a wide variety of business processes.
RFID Journal reports over the next six months, Florida supermarket operator Publix, three produce suppliers, and the Univ. of Florida IFAS’s Center for Food Distribution and Retailing (CFDR) will test the potential for using the EPCglobal Network to improve the distribution of fresh produce.
Publix, which operates 858 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee, will outfit its Lakeland, FL, distribution center with four RFID portals to track the arrival of produce shipments from suppliers in California and Florida. The suppliers will deploy equipment that will enable them to tag and read those tags in order to record shipments as they leave their facilities bound for Publix. CFDR, which was established in 2003 to study ways to make RFID tags work on produce shipments and keep perishable food from spoiling, will manage the research pilot, dubbed Visibility Validated (V2).
RFID Journal also reports process efficiencies are taking the lead over retailer and government mandates in driving RFID technology adoption, according to a new study entitled “Analysis of RFID Adoption and Workforce Issues in North America.” The study was conducted by market research firm Frost & Sullivan and commissioned by CompTIA, a not-for-profit IT trade organization that provides certification testing.
When asked to rate the influence of mandates, standards development and competition, and other factors on their decisions to implement or consider RFID technology, survey respondents gave “improved process efficiency” the highest rating, at 3.8 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being very influential. Mandates were divided into separate categories: DOD, FDA and “other,” which received ratings of 2.2, 2.2 and 2.5, respectively.
Singapore’s Inst. of Microelectronics (IME) says it has developed the world’s first passive read-write RFID tag with an on-chip antenna (OCA). The institute claims its new RFID chip and antenna design could appreciably cut the cost of manufacturing RFID inlays for specific applications.
“With the antenna embedded on top of the chip, we can significantly reduce the size of the tag to less than 1 square millimeter,” says Rajinder Singh, head of IME’s Integrated Circuits & Systems Lab, “small enough to be embedded in applications such as laboratory samples, clothes, paper documents, or checks.”
Zebra Technologies adds converting equipment for smart labels to its Greenville, WI, supplies facility. With in-house production, Zebra now provides one of the broadest selections of high quality, cost-competitive smart labels to meet different application needs.