S&T’s Peer to Peer


Radio frequency identification (RFID) chips have been rising in popularity because of their usefulness and convenience, and have now made their way into the ID cards of universities. An RFID chip is an identification device that, when powered by some nearby source, sends out a signal with information that was stored in the chip. RFID physical security systems work just like a lock and key, with the RFID chip acting as the key. Instead of having a unique pattern, RFID chips have an identification code that is read by the lock. Some RFID chips also hide this code behind a series of encryptions. While this can be very convenient when used for door locks and quick pay systems, there are still many RFID chips that have insufficient securities protecting the information they hold. Based on the increasing trend of RFID usage (RFID forecasts, 2014), it is safe to assume that many more universities will follow. However, this convenience could come at the cost of security. The implementation of RFID technology in ID cards on college campuses could be a serious security risk if universities do not commit to ongoing investments in security and research.