A California-based start-up has introduced a new security appliance intended to act as a firewall between RFID interrogators and the middleware which integrates RFID data into a customer’s software system. NeoCatena calls its new product RF-Wall, and believes the product will protect RFID systems from counterfeit RFID tags, tags encoded with malware and other threats.
Many RFID industry insiders question the significance of this type of security threat, but NeoCatena’s founders believe the threat is legitimate, and have attempted to prove it in experiments dating back to 2004. Some companies apparently believe it is worth considering, as NeoCatena says at least two RFID-using companies are currently involved in beta-testing RF-Wall.
NeoCatena outlines two main business risks associated with RFID networks: a tag’s user data could be utilized to pass viruses or malware to back-end systems, or RFID tags could be cloned, or their data manipulated, in order to defraud an RFID-based transaction process such a transit fare card system.
The RF-Wall program would employ a digital signature to detect whether an RFID tag’s stored information had been manipulated since its last use. If such a breach is detected, the intended business process would be blocked and the system administrator alerted.
NeoCatena also offers a software product called RF-Manager to administrate clusters of RF-Wall appliances, and an RFID security auditing service which operates through an add-on software module.