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Secure UHF Access Control Deployed in Moscow

With an implementation from ISBC and FEIG Electronic, a parking authority at the Moscow International Business Center can provide automated access control with a long read range, thereby enabling fast entry, without the risk of hacking due to untraceable technology.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 02, 2020

Government and private-sector employees both use a secure parking area at Russia's Moscow International Business Center (MIBC), one of the world's largest business district projects, commonly known as Moscow-City. This year, the operator of that parking area deployed a UHF RFID system that provides secure entry to authorized vehicles at a greater distance, and thus more efficiently than close-proximity technologies.

The UHF system comes with security features intended to prevent the hacking of data. The solution was provided by technology company ISBC, using FEIG Electronic's LRU 1002 RFID readers and a built-in NXP UCODE DNA chip that leverages an untraceable command. The parking operator has asked to remain unnamed.

The MIBC, a commercial development first conceived in 1992, is still under development. Initially, it was a riverfront industrial zone and a rock quarry populated by closed factories and abandoned buildings. Now, following revitalization, between 250,000 and 300,000 people work and/or live in the area, which features skyscrapers for offices, residences, stores and entertainment venues. Construction for the tallest skyscraper, known as One Tower, began this year; once it's finished, the structure will stand 403.5 meters (1,324 feet) in height, making it one of the tallest buildings in Europe.

Recently, the parking area operator sought a way to not only boost the efficiency of its automated access system, but also provide the tightest security possible, according to Roman Podprugin, the head of ISBC Group's RFID sales department. The site had used a MIFARE system at its entry gates in the past, requiring drivers to carry a card that was then scanned as they entered. This meant they would have to open their window, insert the card into the machine or place it against a reader and wait for the responding approval and opening of the barrier.

Another technology it had trialed was based on camera images of license places, but clear images could not be guaranteed if snow or mud obscured the plate. Therefore, the company began working with ISBC to create a secure but faster solution using longer-range technology. One requirement for such a system, Podprugin says, was that "UHF equipment must support secure data transfer technology," which was possible with FEIG readers using tags embedded with UCODE DNA chips featuring AES 128-bit encryption.

The benefit of UHF transmissions is that the long range enables gate readers to authenticate a driver before a vehicle comes to a complete stop; however, that long range also allows the potential for hacking from a nearby reader device. Using the UCODE DNA chip in untraceable mode ensures that the transponder in the card will not respond to an unauthorized reader, essentially making the transponder immune to a hacker's attack, explains Mike Hrabina, FEIG's global product manager.

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