Quirks of RFID Memory Make for Cheap Security Scheme

On-board SRAM produces unique chip fingerprint and random numbers needed for encryption

2 min read

18 March 2009—Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips are everywhere today: in credit cards, driver’s licenses, and passports, and stuck to pallets of inventory for big retailers like Wal-Mart. Yet some RFID tags—especially the smallest and cheapest—still have no means to prevent them from yielding up their data to any passerby with an RFID reader.

However, a soon-to-be-published report from a team of American computer scientists proposes a new RFID security measure that works by using the memory circuits already in many RFID chips.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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