sniffing and cracking rfid crypto

rfid cracking
i always get a kick out of companies using proprietary crypto in their products.  hackaday reader b-rad writes,

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and RSA Laboratories have demonstrated how too crack the encryption of a Texas Instrument RFID transponder used in many “immobilizer-equipped” car keys and ExxonMobile SpeedPass e-payment fobs.

the team was able to reverse engineer the protocol and come up with a system for brute forcing the key recovery process in a matter of hours.  they also created a proof-of-concept radio device that could be used to mimic a speedpass fob to purchase gasoline.

their cracking device utilizes 16 fpgas and is able to do in a couple hours what 10 general purpose pcs would do in 2 weeks, all for the price of about $3500.  this reminds me of the bombes used by british cryptanalysts to crack enigma cyphers in world war 2.  pretty cool stuff.


  1. Daniel says:

    Ironically, i just decided to go to, and this article was on their frong page:

  2. Acemilo says:

    Wasn’t this posted here a while ago? I know for a fact I saw this at least a month ago somewhere, just don’t know if it was here.

  3. jon says:

    I have read a number of articles on fob applications but have yet to discover what the hell fob either means or stands for.

  4. hah says:

    I don’t care about the details, just get me free gas.

  5. ctrlX says:

    btw. polish cracked the enigma…

  6. Ryan Shore says:

    These guy’s have actual videos on there site. If personal RFID security concerns you check out we are currently developing other products besides our personal wallet protector.

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