Challenge: RFID Hacking For Fun And Profit

Authors:
Ju Wang University of Waterloo
Omid Abari University of Waterloo
Srinivasan Keshav University of Waterloo

Introduction:

this paper studies Passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. This paper shows how even hobbyists can transform commodity RFID tags into sensors by physically altering ('hacking') them using COTS sensors, a pair of scissors, and clear adhesive tape.

Abstract:

Passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are ubiquitous today due to their low cost (a few cents), relatively long communication range (∼7-11 m), ease of deployment, lack of battery, and small form factor. Hence, they are an attractive foundation for environmental sensing. Although RFID-based sensors have been studied in the research literature and are also available commercially, manufacturing them has been a technically-challenging task that is typically undertaken only by experienced researchers. This paper shows how even hobbyists can transform commodity RFID tags into sensors by physically altering ('hacking') them using COTS sensors, a pair of scissors, and clear adhesive tape. Importantly, this requires no change to commercial RFID readers. We also propose a new legacy-compatible tag reading protocol called Diferential Minimum Response Threshold (DMRT) that is robust to the changes in an RF environment. To validate our vision, we develop RFID-based sensors for illuminance, temperature, gestures, etc. We believe our approach has the potential to open up the field of batteryless backscatter-based RFID sensing to the research community, making it an exciting area for future work.

You may want to know: