A team of researchers has come up with a new type of radio frequency identification (RFID) chip that is virtually impossible to hack which also helps in securing credit cards, key cards and pallets of goods in warehouses.The researchers presented their research at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, in San Francisco. (ANI)
“The chip is designed to prevent so-called side-channel attacks. Side-channel attacks analyze patterns of memory access or fluctuations in power usage when a device is performing a cryptographic operation, in order to extract its cryptographic key”, according to the first researcher Chiraag Juvekar.
Researchers at MIT and Texas Instruments have built several prototypes of the new chip to the researcher’s specifications and in experiments the chips have behaved as expected by them. Juvekar noted that the idea in a side-channel attack is that a given execution of the cryptographic algorithm only leaks a slight amount of information and so one needs to execute the cryptographic algorithm with the same secret many, many times to get enough leakage to extract a complete secret.
One way to prevent side-channel attacks is to change secret keys more often . So in that case the RFID chip would run a random-number generator that would spit out a new secret key after each transaction. A central server would run the same generator and every time an RFID scanner queried the tag it would relay the results to the server to see if the current key was valid.