RFID Tags-How They Work and How They Spy

 WHAT Did I Miss?
I am not a technician, which is why I always check
 (and re-check) my sources.
I re-checked again and other than oversimplifying
on the RFID structure,  I don’t see any mistakes.  Since you
are an expert, why don’t you explain it?  I care about accuracy
above all. 
So quit being a smarty pants and enlighten me, please.
 George Luker Dorval, Quebec, Canada Syscan-ID manufactures RFID readers for the Agriculture industry for Animal Identification. www.syscan.com
You might want to educate yourself on RFID before making comments.  Just a thought…

 More sources;


First EPC/RFID Test Centre in Africa established in Tshwane


Hub resident, Techsolutions (Pty) Ltd, participated in the opening of the first African Test Centre for RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology on 28 June 2007 at an event hosted by the Tshwane University of Technology. The opening was conducted by Mr André Hattingh, Deputy Director of F’SATIE (French South African Technical Institute in Electronics).

 “At the opening, a number of RFID solutions were demonstrated for tracking pallets and other returnable transport items, tracking assets such as notebook computers and tracking people. “


EPC RFID Tags in Security Applications: Passport Cards, Enhanced Drivers Licenses, and Beyond

From RSA;

RSA, The Security Division of EMC, is the premier provider of security solutions for business acceleration.

As the chosen security partner of more than 90% of the Fortune 500, we help the world’s leading organizations succeed by solving their most complex and sensitive security challenges.


“As with any RFID device, there is also the risk of clandestine tracking.”

 The RFID tags in these documents emit unique serial numbers. While these numbers are not personally identifying in and of themselves, they are a “license plate” of sorts.

“For example, law enforcement officials could, in principle, scan the tags of participants in a political rally and store the associated identifiers in a database for later identification of individuals”

Q: Did you inform DHS and Washington State of your findings?
A: We informed both DHS and Washington State officials of our findings in advance of their public release. We wished to offer them a timely opportunity to evaluate our research results and consider steps for strengthening the border-crossing system.

In our productive discussions with these organizations, they have indicated an ongoing effort to improve the security of the identity documents treated in our work.

Q: Why are you publishing these vulnerabilities? Will your paper have a negative impact on national security?
A: As experts in data security have believed for many years, public scrutiny makes systems stronger, not weaker. (In cryptography, this idea finds expression in a classical idea known as Kerckhoff’s Principle.) The lessons and accountability brought by communal discussion are hard to obtain through restricted, closed-door assessments. Indeed, the Department of State solicited public comments on the Passport Card prior to its release, and many contributors—including four Members of Congress—expressed concerns about its security.

RFID CUSP (RFID ConsortiUm on Security and Privacy) is an organization devoted to academic research on RFID security and privacy. Its members include Johns Hopkins University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and RSA Labs. A number of its published papers on RFID security, including some on previous security flaws discovered in RFID devices, are available at www.rfid-cusp.org. RSA Labs has published some basic primer materials, accessible at www.rfid-security.com.

Dan Bailey
Senior Research Scientist

Kevin Bowers
Research Scientist

John Brainard
Principal Research Engineer

Dr. Ari Juels
Chief Scientist

Dr. Burton S. Kaliski Jr.
Founding Scientist, RSA Laboratories
Director, EMC Innovation Network

Dr. Alina Oprea
Research Scientist

Distinguished Associate

Prof. Ronald L. Rivest



“[After bar codes] [t]he next ‘big thing’ [was] [f]requent shopper cards. While these did a better job of linking consumers and their purchases, loyalty cards were severely limited…consider the usage, consumer demographic, psychographic and economic blind spots of tracking data…. [S]omething more integrated and holistic was needed to provide a ubiquitous understanding of on- and off-line consumer purchase behavior, attitudes and product usage. The answer: RFID (radio frequency identification) technology…. In an industry first, RFID enables the linking of all this product information with a specific consumer identified by key demographic and psychographic markers….Where once we collected purchase information, now we can correlate multiple points of consumer product purchase with consumption specifics such as the how, when and who of product use.” 

—John Stermer,

 Senior Vice President of eBusiness Market Development at ACNielsen

RFID is an identification technology that remotely stores and retrieves data using RFID tags or transponders. RFID tags use integrated circuits and antennas to track items from a distance. The integrated circuit has a unique id for each item for the purpose of identification through radio waves.

The chip helps not only in storing and processing information, but also in modulating and demodulating RF signals. The antenna helps in receiving and transmitting signals. An RF reader sends out an RF signal, and any tags within its range will respond



The Chip-less RFID tags are also available at lower cost than the integrated circuit based tags. Traditional RFID tags are available in three varieties: Passive, Active, and Semi Passive.
Based on their features, these tags are used in specific tracking purposes




An RFID tag is represented through an EPC (Electronic Product Code) that is currently managed by EPCglobal. It is either a 64-bit or 96-bit identifier and its namespace is segmented into four hierarchically encapsulated partitions.


  Header: Identifies the EPC version number and allows for different lengths or types of EPC such as Type I, Type II, Type III, and Type IV.


  EPC Manager: Identifies the manufacturer of the product the EPC is attached to.


  Object Class: Identifies the exact type of product, generally, the SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)


  Serial Number: Identifies the unique id of the item.


RFID Tracking Model






Humans and items are tagged.  


  Tags are read by the Reader.


  Data is filtered (Middleware).


  EPCIS (EPC Information Service) facilitates access to serialized product information.


  ONS (Object Naming Service), similar to DNS (Domain Name Server) routes requests for    information about a particular EPC.


  EPC Discovery Service has authoritative registry for every EPCIS.





1) RFID TagsRFID tags are affixed to assets. Each has a unique numerical identifier so differentiation is possible. For supply chain operations, it is common for the tag identifier to contain the Serialized Global Trading Identification Number (SGTIN) of the item to which it is affixed. This allows differentiation of identical items.  


2) Interrogators (or readers)An interrogator, or more often called a reader, is a radio frequency transmitting and receiving device used to communicate with an RFID tag. The device was named an interrogator because it interrogates the tags. The term “reader” is a more colloquial term, but is sometimes misleading in that many of these devices also have the ability to encode, or write information to an RFID tag.A reader basically acts as a sensor because it senses what tags are within its range.Readers are designed to interface with an information process system, which we’ll explain more about below.
  3) AntennasOne or more antennas are connected to the reader and are required for the radio frequency communications between the tag and the reader. Antennas come in a variety of size and shapes and have a significant impact on read range and performance.
  4) RFID Information Processing SystemsIn order to obtain any tangible benefit from RFID technology, the readers must be connected to an information processing system. The information processing system provides instructions to the readers, coordinates their operation, collects output data, and most importantly, makes decisions based on business rules about the data it receives. These computer programs are sometimes called “middle-ware” or “edge-ware.” We prefer to call them “Intelligent Sensor Network Platforms” because RFID readers typically need to be coordinated with other industrial devices, such as:

  • industrial sensors: photo-eyes, motion detectors, environmental monitors, etc.
  • feedback devices: light-stacks, displays, etc.
  • automation control systems: triggers, servos, motors, robotics, etc.



ere is some Real Quick Insight into the little buggers. 

We have to KNOW IT and  NAME IT  if we hope to TAME IT.

RFID Tech + Biometrics + Database Linking= Modern Panopticon

People Under Glass are Pets!
















Identification and Tracking of Individuals and Social Networks using the Electronic Product Code on RFID Tags







































This paper describes how to use EPCs on RFID transponders to identify individuals and track their consumer habits and locations. In addition, it is shown how these mechanisms can be used to identify social networks.2007explanationsecurityinvasionrfid








3 responses to “RFID Tags-How They Work and How They Spy

  1. Pingback: Twitted by scrosnoe

  2. You might want to educate yourself on RFID before making comments. Just a thought…

  3. George is apparently out chipping cows and can’t be bothered. 14 remarkably enlightening words is all he could spare…..

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