Not So Great Britain

McAfee: RFID chips exposing users to danger | April 25, 2007

The current generation of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is vulnerable to eavesdropping, cloning and forging.

That’s according to an April security trends report from security software vendor McAfee Inc. The Sage report is issued semiannually by McAfee Avert Labs based on its research into high-tech threats.

The report warns that as RFID technology becomes more pervasive, the risk for users increases dramatically. The study notes that the technology is increasingly embedded in clothing, food and health care products and that some companies are even embedding RFID chips into the bodies of employees. Some states have already passed laws to prohibit forced implantation of the chips.

The report found that the rapid spread of RFID technology is making it very attractive to hackers, who can clone chips and steal authentication information to gain access to a users’ personal information. Some researchers have warned that a virus placed on an RFID chip can infect other networked chips, and ultimately assault vulnerable databases.

Government agencies and large retail firms are playing a key role in the spread of the technology — and adding to the growing list of vulnerabilities, the report said.

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