Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Ask The Experts Forum

BlogsAsk The Experts ForumCan I Access an RFID Tag's Data By Physically Breaking Into Its Chip at the Microscopic Level?

Can I Access an RFID Tag's Data By Physically Breaking Into Its Chip at the Microscopic Level?

Posted By RFID Journal, 02.06.2014

Can I splice and dice it until I reach the information stored on the chip?

—Name withheld


To answer your question, I reached out to Roger Stewart, the president of Sourland Mountain Associates, an RFID and intellectual property (IP) consulting firm, as well as the former CTO of Alien Technology and Intelleflex. He helped design the chips used in the first generation of Electronic Product Code (EPC) ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID transponders. Here is his response:

"Yes, in theory. However, in practice, this kind of internal 'physical crypto attack' is a very difficult thing to do, even for an unprotected chip—and not possible at all for modern security ICs that protect internal data-busing structures from etching, micro-probing, power transients and other physical attacks. It is possible to design RFID and other chip memory such that the data is completely secure—even from the NSA—if one really needs to do that."

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

Login and post your comment!

Not a member?

Signup for an account now to access all of the features of RFIDJournal.com!

Next Post
How Can I Learn About Radio Frequency Id...
Previous Post
What Is the Smallest RFID Chip Suitable ...
Case Studies Features Best Practices How-Tos
Live Events Virtual Events Webinars
Simply enter a question for our experts.
RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations