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March 15, 2006
RFID VULNERABLE TO VIRUS ATTACKS COULD WREAK HAVOC
Wake up and Put a Hold on Reckless Deployment, Say Privacy Activists
Privacy and civil liberties advocates have long been opposed to the use
of RFID technology on consumer items and government documents because it
can be used to track people without their knowledge or consent. But now
security researchers are warning RFID systems are vulnerable to viruses
that could wreak havoc on databases around the world and potentially
facilitate a terrorist attack.
Melanie Rieback, a Ph.D.student at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam,
gave a live demonstration of how a hacker could deploy a single rogue
RFID tag and infect associated databases at the Fourth Annual IEEE
Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications held in Pisa,
Italy, March 15.
"Let's hope this puts the breaks on the irrational exuberance of
Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, the Department of Homeland Security, and
everyone else hell bent on tracking everything and everyone with this
technology," say privacy advocates Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre,
co-authors of "Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to
Track Your Every Move with RFID."
Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is a controversial technology that
uses tiny microchips to track items from a distance. These RFID
microchips have earned the nickname "spychips" because each contains a
unique identification number, like a Social Security number for things,
that can be read silently and invisibly by radio waves. Security experts
have theorized that RFID would be targeted by hackers, but until now,
most considered the limited memory on the tags insufficient to deliver
Rieback backs up her demonstration with details about exactly how a
virus could propagate in RFID systems in a paper aptly titled "Is Your
Cat Infected with a Computer Virus?" The paper opens with a scenario in
which a vet's database seems to be erasing data from pet tags and
finally freezes, displaying the message "All your pet are belong to us."
(This is a nod to the Internet joke "All your base are belong to us.")
This damage could start with one attacker writing malicious code onto
his cat's microchip and exposing it to the vet's system, she claims. But
that's just the start. Her university's press release about the
discovery points out how such malicious code could infect retail
databases and even RFID-based airport baggage systems, leading to more
serious consequences, like a terrorist debilitating a baggage database
in order to slip in a lethal suitcase:
"A malicious individual could put an infected RFID tag on his suitcase
(or someone else's suitcase). The bag will be scanned when approaching a
Y-junction, to determine which direction it should go. However the mere
act of scanning could infect the airport's baggage database, and as a
result, all bags checked in after could receive infected baggage labels.
As these bags move to other airports, they would be rescanned -- and
within 24 hours, hundreds of airports could be infected worldwide. A
smuggler or terrorist using this technique could hide baggage from
airline and government officials."
The university researchers recommend that developers incorporate
countermeasures to "help reduce the threat of RFID viruses." They point
out that these measures "take time, people, and money to implement" and
urge RFID developers to take action before their software is widely
"We've long contended that RFID will put all of us at risk," says
McIntyre. "This is a wake-up call to RFID proponents who are recklessly
rushing the technology into the marketplace before the serious societal
consequences of tracking everyday objects and people with this
technology can be fully explored."
ABOUT THE BOOK «SPYCHIPS»
"Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track your
Every Move with RFID" (Nelson Current) was released in October 2005.
Already in its fifth printing, "Spychips" is the winner of the Lysander
Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty and has received
wide critical acclaim. Authored by Harvard doctoral researcher Katherine
Albrecht and former bank examiner Liz McIntyre, the book is meticulously
researched, drawing on patent documents, corporate source materials,
conference proceedings, and firsthand interviews to paint a convincing
-- and frightening -- picture of the threat posed by RFID.
Despite its hundreds of footnotes and academic-level accuracy, the book
remains lively and readable according to critics, who have called it a
"techno-thriller" and "a masterpiece of technocriticism."
"The Spychips Threat: Why Christians Should Resist RFID and Electronic
Surveillance" (Nelson Current, January 31, 2006) is a paperback version
of the original book that addresses Christian concerns associated with
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Katherine Albrecht (firstname.lastname@example.org) 877-287-5854
Liz McIntyre (email@example.com) 877-287-5854
CASPIAN Consumer Privacy
www.spychips.com // www.nocards.org
http://theresistancemanifesto.com/index....Maria, 15 лет назад.