Can RFID cards be cloned? An All-Inclusive Guide to RFID Security
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Can RFID cards be cloned? An All-Inclusive Guide to RFID Security

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-03-16      Origin: Site

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Various activities, including access controls and payments, have been automated thanks to RFID technology. RFID cards are widely used in many organizations to expedite the identification process.

However, clone RFID cards pose significant security risks. It has become possible for criminals to make clone RFID cards by copying cardholders' data.

Criminals then use the clone RFID card to access highly restricted areas or withdraw huge sums of money from the cardholder's bank account. You can protect yourself from RFID card cloning criminals in several ways in this article.

RFID Cards: What Are They and How Do They Work?

A laminated plastic card (primarily PVC) contains an RFID chip that stores all the relevant information about its owner.Data is transferred by radio waves produced by the tag (the chip).

When an RFID reader comes near an RFID card, it detects the electromagnetic waves, captures the information, and transmits it for analysis. As a result, you'll be able to withdraw cash, make payments, and access restricted areas, among other things.

The data stored in the RFID chip can easily be copied into another card if unauthorized individuals gain access to it. A cloned RFID card will perform exactly the same as the original, which poses a significant security risk.

The process of RFID card cloning

With the advancement of technology, RFID card cloning has increased significantly. Due to the fact that it involves getting your data without your consent, this phenomenon is called "Digital Pickpocketing."

Criminals will need an RFID card reader, data analytic software, and a blank RFID chip/card to clone an RFID card.

The card reader will be carried in a bag and read RFID cards without the users' knowledge. The RFID card reader will capture radio wave signals even when the cards are in pockets or handbags!

Criminals transfer the captured data to a blank chip to create a clone card using software.

Using the RFID card clone, these data thieves will be able to perform all activities that would otherwise be authorized only to the cardholder. The clone card will give them access to restricted areas and even allow them to make payments!

There are a number of reasons why RFID cards are so easily cloned

There are different types of RFID cards, including credit cards and proximity cards. Criminals have mastered a similar working rationale.

Circuits on these cards are relatively straightforward. If an RFID reader detects the card, it releases the information without further interrogation (unless 2-factor authentication is enabled).

The reader's electrical field excites a coil in the RFID chip, which charges the capacitor further. The capacitor powers the integrated circuit, which sends the data to the coil. Finally, the coil transmits the data to the reader.

The process is straightforward and does not have any security mechanisms to detect fraud (card manufacturers are increasingly encrypting the data to correct the anomaly). To hack proximity cards and other old-generation cards, you only need a basic understanding of radio technology.

RFID reader devices can also help you obtain the key card number, which is the engine of each card. The devices are designed to help you recover or edit the number, but criminals can misuse them to make clones.

In order to ensure the safety of your RFID cards, there are several methods you can use to protect them from hackers.

The best way to protect your RFID card from being cloned

There is no doubt that card skimming is frightening. In addition to causing losses, it poses significant security risks. In order to prevent criminals from cloning your RFID card, you must implement security measures. You can use these proven techniques:

  • RFID Card Blockers/ Sleeves should be used

RFID blockers protect your card from card readers. RFID card readers cannot capture radio waves through it because it forms a boundary.

Moreover, your card will not be excited by the RFID reader. Therefore, data cannot be exchanged between the reader and the card.

There are a variety of poor conductors of electromagnetism that can be used to make these sleeves/blockers. A thin layer of metal may also act as a barrier.

Because RFID sleeves cannot distinguish between legitimate and malicious readers, you should get one that allows you to remove the card easily and quickly. For continued protection, return the card in its sleeve after you've completed your transactions.

  • Authentication with two factors

You should ensure that your card supports multi-factor authentication if you want more control over your card data.

Using this concept, you'll receive a message with a unique identification code. Your mobile phone or email address can be used to receive the code.

You should authorize the transaction by clicking on the link or feeding the code into the system when you receive the code. In this way, no one can access your data without your permission.

This feature is supported by most modern cards. Therefore, you should always activate the card as soon as possible after receiving it.

  • Encryption of data

Data encryption is supported by most smartcards. By using this feature, you ensure that third parties cannot access your data. Therefore, you can rest assured that your encrypted data is secure.

  • PUFs (Physically Unclonable Functions) are worth investing in

A card's unique properties help differentiate it from others. As a result, the card will have a unique identifier and a cryptographic key.

RFID chips will be assigned unique identifiers based on their physical properties. Whenever a hacker uses a different RFID chip to clone the cryptographic key, it will be rejected because the unique identifier is different.


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