RFID UHF Class 1 Gen 2 and new G2V2 security features

23-11-2016_uhf_security_featuresRFID technology’s main properties are remote identify and track tags attached to objects and informations exchange.

Today we will talk about the security measures we can use to protect the data within an UHF RFID passive transponder. This standard is the most used kind of radio frequency in logistic and industrial applications for its ability to read multiple tags at far distance. And also you will talk about the new chip standard …

Today the  UHF RFID transponders are Class 1 Gen 2. This kind of tag was release of 12 years ago in order to create to unify tag and hardware manufacturers under one global standard for a better interoperability. The previous version named Class 1 Gen 1 contained virtually no security features because at the time security measures were auxiliary in production. In the 2004 newly emerging issues forcing EPCglobal and ISO to respond with increased security measures on UHF tags in the Gen 2 standard. The results were to provide the first layer of protection against hackers through serialized TID numbers and passwords. 

Now, EPCglobal and ISO are going to release the newest G2V2. We 


TID numbers

These numbers were introduced for identifications purposes but in these years became widely used for the authentication, due to its uniqueness for each tag and uncounterfeiting skills. Each tag leaves the factory with a unique TID number and it is not modifiable by a normal user. Generally, to authenticate a tag that is suspected to be fake, the only way to check it is reading the EPC memory bank and the TID memory bank, if they doesn’t match, that tag is counterfeit.



On Class 1 Gen 2 tags are available two differents password functionalities: the access password and the kill password. Both passwords are stored in factory on the reserved memory block and come pre-encoded with zeros, which do not function as an access or kill code.

Access password

The access password on UHF Gen 2 tags must be modified in order to be used. Four lock states exist on each memory bank:

  1. Unlocked
  2. Perma-unlocked (can never be locked)
  3. Locked
  4. Perma-locked (can never be unlocked)

When a memory bank is locked, only the reader that interrogates it first with the access code could read it. The access code can also prevent readers from reading the reserved memory bank if it is locked. It is important to note that a small piece of software is usually required in order for the reader to interrogate the tag. 

Kill password 

This code is used for applications that require tags to change state/phase to indicate a specific event has occurred. In retail applications it is used because once an item is purchased the tag can be killed, making it permanently unreadable. Many producer in different markets, that track their products during the manufacturing and storage phase, kill them when leave the factory.


And the new G2V2?

The new tag of the 21st century, named G2V2 promise 5 new security features. 

  1. Anti-counterfeiting measures to ensure that no tags can be faked or spoofed because each tag has the ability to respond by using a stored secret key.
  2. Security with acces via privilege to reading, writing, and locking securely.
  3. File management to keep multiple files separate of each other in the same user memory bank. In the Class1Gen2 all user memory on a tag is in one file.
  4. Untraceability to protect consumer privacy, allowing the user to hide certain memory banks, or certain parts of memory banks.
  5. Loss prevention using RFID tag as a EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) device. For example, using codes to identify  the sale or the storage of a good, the facility will quickly understand by a read if a good was sold or stolen. 

These five features are individual options on each tag, in order to let the user buy the better tag at the better cost for his application. 

The release, before expected for the firts months of this year was ratified to the last months of the same year.

So we are waiting very excited the release of the tag of the 21st century.


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