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Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems – CHES 2008

Volume 5154 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 283-299

Hash Functions and RFID Tags: Mind the Gap

  • Andrey BogdanovAffiliated withHorst Görtz Institute for IT Security, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • , Gregor LeanderAffiliated withHorst Görtz Institute for IT Security, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • , Christof PaarAffiliated withHorst Görtz Institute for IT Security, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • , Axel PoschmannAffiliated withHorst Görtz Institute for IT Security, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • , Matt J. B. RobshawAffiliated withOrange Labs
  • , Yannick SeurinAffiliated withOrange Labs

Abstract

The security challenges posed by RFID-tag deployments are well-known. In response there is a rich literature on new cryptographic protocols and an on-tag hash function is often assumed by protocol designers. Yet cheap tags pose severe implementation challenges and it is far from clear that a suitable hash function even exists. In this paper we consider the options available, including constructions based around compact block ciphers. While we describe the most compact hash functions available today, our work serves to highlight the difficulties in designing lightweight hash functions and (echoing [17]) we urge caution when routinely appealing to a hash function in an RFID-tag protocol.