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Flaw Found in RFID Technology

Researchers at VU Amsterdam have now discovered that it is possible to place a computer virus in an RFID chip.

Researchers at VU Amsterdam have now discovered that it is possible to place a computer virus in an RFID chip.

The possible scenarios are presented in a paper, Is your Cat Infected with a Computer Virus?, at the annual IEEE Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications in Pisa, Italy. The papers authors, PhD candidate, Melanie Rieback and her supervisor Professor Andrew Tanenbaum, gave live demonstrations at the conference how a hacker could deploy a single rogue RFID chip and infect the databases associated with the system.

A spokesman for VeriChip, the patent holder on human-implantable RFID technology said that their technology is not susceptible to this flaw because the chips are laser imprinted at the time of manufacture and are not re-writable.

"Only numbers are stored on the chip. Any other characters will be rejected by the system." The human-implantable chip works on a 16-digit system, while the animal-implantable chip works on a 12-digit system," according to the VeriChip spokesman.

In a statement released by CASPIAN, a privacy advocate organization, states "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."

The complete report can be found at www.rfidvirus.org/papers/percom.06.pdf.

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