Unclonable ‘silicon DNA’ secures RFID tags

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Verayo’s unique authentication solution makes it effectively impossible for the attackers to clone and attack secure IDs, access cards, transit and event tickets.

To counter the counterfeiting of RFID tags by cloning the chips inside them, Verayo’s new M4H RFID tags contain ‘silicon DNA’ that identifies them uniquely and makes cloning impossible. All Verayo products are based on a ‘physically unclonable function’ (PUF) in the form of a circuit, which uses random variations in the delays of wires and gates on the chip – the chip’s ‘silicon DNA’ – to produce a unique response to a challenge in an authentication session. When the input challenge is presented, a race condition is created in the circuit as two transitions propagate along different paths. An arbiter, implemented as a latch, produces a 1 or a 0 depending on which transition exits first.

In Verayo’s authentication scheme, a 64-bit pulse train challenge is issued to the serial PUF circuit and the chip returns a 64-bit pulse train response that is unique to its manufacturing variations. The challenge/response pair of each chip is unique, so they can be catalogued in a database at the factory and compared with challenge/response pairs generated later during interrogations in the field.

However, an online database of challenge/response pairs is not a viable solution for the millions of RFID tags used in applications such as mass transit commuter cards. Therefore, Verayo invented its M4H version with an authentication scheme that does not require an online database. The key to offline authentication is DNA readout capability, which identifies the process variations for a particular PUF circuit. Verayo uses the readout capability at the factory to extract the silicon DNA and then disables the readout feature. The extracted silicon DNA is subsequently encrypted and written back to nonvolatile memory in the RFID chip.

After this, when a reader detects the card it decrypts the PUF circuit’s DNA, simulates the circuit in software, and compares the calculated response to the real-time response from a challenge issued to the RFID tag. If the tag’s response matches the calculated response, the card is authentic; otherwise it must be counterfeit.

Source: http://www.verayo.com/


About pasanlaksiri

I am K.G. Pasan Laksiri Karunanayake and founder of OptoElectronics.lk. Since 2011 I have specialized in designing custom electronics for industrial applications. Over the years I have engineered a broad range of custom industrial products. When I work with a client I place a very high value on integrity, honesty and clear communication. With years of field experience I have learned that all business relationships are personal relationships. The more I know about the client and his project, the more I can contribute to a successful end product. After I learn about the client requirement I always give them the better understanding and clear picture about, how the end product will function in real world. In addition to the client requirement, I also offer lots of options, features and improvements. And I always very concern about the end product quality.
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One Response to Unclonable ‘silicon DNA’ secures RFID tags

  1. atomsoft says:

    One thing i see wrong with this is after a while Electronics tend to take damage or alter slightly with usage. Things break down. isnt it possible for the DNA to constantly change?


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