Do Any NFC Tags Come With Built-in Challenge-Response Cryptography?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsDo Any NFC Tags Come With Built-in Challenge-Response Cryptography?
RFID Journal Staff asked 9 years ago

Specifically, where can I find tags, not cards?

—Name withheld


To answer your question, I reached out to Victor Vega, NXP Semiconductors' director of RFID NFC solutions. Here's his response:

"There are a whole bunch of offerings, ranging from the new lineup of price-sensitive NFC tag ICs (called the NTAG line), which do not have built-in encryption, but instead have a 128-bit 'originality signature' which comprises the unique ID and a private key using elliptical curve cryptography. These ICs may be found in the following section (specifically the NTAG 21x series): The data sheets are also on this page. Migrating up, they can go from lightweight encryption (lower-cost) to very high-security (for example, 3 DES or SmartMX, like what is used for access control or financial transactions). These product families may be found here."

Victor also provided links to the Web sites of two NXP partners—Smartrac and Identive Group—that provide such tags, including:
Smartrac's eID Inlays

Smartrac's card inlays

Identive's Citizen ID solutions

Identive's payment, loyalty and hospitality solutions

I hope that helps.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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