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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Functionally Eliminating Skimming Security Vulnerabilities From RFID Enabled Passports
by Semonski, Kos, M.S., Davenport University, 2011, 61; 1507685
Abstract (Summary)

The accuracy of RFID management systems depends solely on the validity and availability of information on the RFID tags. Skimming of RFID tags is a leading contributor to the success of hackers maliciously reprogramming existing RFID chips and creating decoy tags. These modified and bogus RFID devices detract from the integrity of the RFID management systems thus negatively impacting the dependability of these management systems.

Skimming is defined as the unauthorized accessing of information contained within Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) devices. Passports equipped with RFID technology are vulnerable to skimming attacks. Successful skimming attacks against passports will increase as RFID passports proliferate. Researchers have already proven the ability to gather RFID information from credit cards without the specific knowledge of the cardholder, and passport RFID implementations are not immune to this technique. The effective security of passport technology is inversely proportional to the span of acceptable uses of passports. As new passport uses emerge, the assurances of the original passport security models erode.

Across the world, consumer awareness regarding RFID and the total implications for their personal information is measurably deficient. Approximately 80% of consumers do not understand what RFID is and how it impacts their personal information. Legislative bodies throughout the world have addressed the issue with varying focus. All agree that RFID technology poses potential threats to the personal privacy of their citizens. Yet, many of these bodies are trying to balance the need for RFID development against the risks to the citizens of their domains.

While many disparate solutions for RFID vulnerabilities exist, no single comprehensive security framework has been defined. This research project will focus on the existing security risks and mitigation strategies associated with skimming in relation to RFID enabled passports, and this project will provide specific solutions that will functionally eliminate from real world environments skimming vulnerabilities from RFID equipped passports. This will be accomplished using a multi-pronged approach that combines technology with comprehensive awareness programs and sensible regulation designed to encourage RFID development while concurrently providing measurable security safeguards for individual passport holders.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cranford-Wesley, Deanne
School: Davenport University
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: MAI 50/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Computer Engineering, Computer science
Publication Number: 1507685
ISBN: 978-1-267-19986-7
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