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Physical-layer Identification of RFID Devices

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USENIX 2009, Montreal

In this work we perform the first comprehensive study of physical-layer identification of RFID transponders. We propose several techniques for the extraction of RFID physical-layer fingerprints. We show that RFID transponders can be accurately identified in a controlled environment based on stable fingerprints corresponding to their physical-layer properties. We tested our techniques on a set of 50 RFID smart cards of the same manufacturer and type, and we show that these techniques enable the identification of individual transponders with an Equal Error Rate of 2.43% (single run) and 4.38% (two runs). We further applied our techniques to a smaller set of electronic passports, where we obtained a similar identification accuracy. Our results indicate that physical-layer identification of RFID transponders can be practical and thus has a potential to be used in a number of applications including product and document counterfeiting detection.