RF-DNA: Radio-Frequency Certificates of Authenticity

  • Gerald DeJean
  • Darko Kirovski
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-74735-2_24

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4727)
Cite this paper as:
DeJean G., Kirovski D. (2007) RF-DNA: Radio-Frequency Certificates of Authenticity. In: Paillier P., Verbauwhede I. (eds) Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems - CHES 2007. CHES 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 4727. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg


A certificate of authenticity (COA) is an inexpensive physical object that has a random and unique multidimensional structure S which is hard to near-exactly replicate. An inexpensive device should be able to scan object’s physical “fingerprint,” i.e., obtain a set of features in the form of a multidimensional signal x that pseudo-uniquely represents S. For a given “fingerprint” x and without access to S, it should be computationally difficult to construct an object of fixed dimensions with a “fingerprint” y which is at a bounded proximity from x according to a standardized distance metric. We introduce objects that behave as COAs in the electromagnetic field. The objective is to complement RFIDs so that they are physically, not only digitally, unique and hard to replicate. By enabling this feature, we introduce a tag whose information about the product can be read within a relative far-field, and also whose authenticity can be reliably verified within its near-field. In order to counterfeit a tag, the adversary faces two difficulties – a computational and a manufacturing one. The computational difficulty stems from the hardness of solving linear inverse problems in the electromagnetic field. In order to create an actual tag, the adversary must also manufacture a multidimensional object with a specific three-dimensional topology, dielectric properties, and conductivity.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald DeJean
    • 1
  • Darko Kirovski
    • 1
  1. 1.Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA 98052USA

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