Towards Replay-resilient RFID Authentication

Authors:
Ge Wang Xi'an Jiaotong University
Haofan Cai University of California, Santa Cruz
Chen Qian University of California, Santa Cruz
Jinsong Han Xi'an Jiaotong University
Xin Li University of California, Santa Cruz
Han Ding Xi'an Jiaotong University
Jizhong Zhao Xi'an Jiaotong University

Introduction:

The authors provide the first solution to an important question, “how a physical-layer authentication method can defend against signal replay attacks”. This paper presents Hu-Fu, the first physical layer RFID authentication protocol that is resilient to the major attacks.

Abstract:

We provide the first solution to an important question, “how a physical-layer authentication method can defend against signal replay attacks”. It was believed that if an attacker can replay the exact same reply signal of a legitimate authentication object (such as an RFID tag), any physical-layer authentication method will fail. This paper presents Hu-Fu, the first physical layer RFID authentication protocol that is resilient to the major attacks including tag counterfeiting, signal replay, signal compensation, and brute-force feature reply. Hu-Fu is built on two fundamental ideas, namely inductive coupling of two tags and signal randomization. Hu-Fu does not require any hardware or protocol modification on COTS passive tags and can be implemented with COTS devices. We implement a prototype of Hu-Fu and demonstrate that it is accurate and robust to device diversity and environmental changes, including locations, distance, and temperature. HuFu provides a new direction of battery-free/low-power device authentication that enables numerous IoT applications.

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