A New Ultralightweight RFID Protocol for Low-Cost Tags: R\(^{2}\)AP


Several ultralightweight radio frequency identification (RFID) authentication protocols have been proposed in recent years. However, all of these protocols are reported later that they are vulnerable to various kinds of attacks (such as replay attack, de-synchronization attack, full disclosure attack, etc.) and/or have user privacy concerns. In this paper, we propose a new ultralightweight RFID protocol named reconstruction based RFID authentication protocol (R\(^{2}\)AP), which is based on the use of a new bitwise operation reconstruction. Operation reconstruction has three important properties: Hamming weight unpredictability, irreversibility and effectiveness. Some or all of these properties are absent in previous protocols and therefore has caused a lot of insecurity issues. The proposed R\(^{2}\)AP takes advantage of reconstruction to guarantee security of RFID system. Furthermore, we improve the Juels–Weis untraceability model so that the extended mathematic model can be used to analyze security functionality for ultralightweight RFID protocols. Our security analysis and performance evaluations demonstrate that (1) R\(^{2}\)AP can withstand all attacks mentioned in the paper and protect users’ privacy; (2) R\(^{2}\)AP is indeed an effective RFID protocol that can be implemented on low-cost tags.

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    T-function (Triangular-function) refers to function that the \(i\)th bit of its output only depends on bits \(0,\ldots ,i\)t of its input(s), where the Least Significant Bit is indexed by 0. Obviously, operations exclusive or (XOR), and (AND), addition are T-functions. For formal definition of T-function, please refer to [14].

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    Actually, we can classify DoS attack into two groups: one is caused by the instinctive issues in wireless communications, named hard-DoS; the other one is caused by the de-synchronization between a tag and the back-end database, named soft-DOS. In this paper, we only consider the later form of DoS: soft-DoS.


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Correspondence to Yan Zhu.

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Zhuang, X., Zhu, Y. & Chang, CC. A New Ultralightweight RFID Protocol for Low-Cost Tags: R\(^{2}\)AP. Wireless Pers Commun 79, 1787–1802 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11277-014-1958-x

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  • Ultralightweight
  • RFID protocol
  • Hamming weight
  • Low-cost tag
  • Wireless authentication