Terminate RFID tags

This gun hunts only RFID tags.[mnt], who brought us laser gesture control, built this RFID Zapper but included so much more. Any good weapon has to sound mean, a feat he’s accomplished by incorporating an MP3 player into the rifle. The coil that zaps the RFID tag is powered by a photo-flash unit, but for visual feedback he’s got a second unit that flashes light to signal the demise of your German passport (see the video after the break).

It’s hard to believe we haven’t covered RFID Zappers yet. The concept came out of the Chaos Communication Congress a few years back. This method works by sending a very strong electromagnetic field through the RFID tag that causes it to burn out. There’s a wiki post on RFID Zappers but Firefox threw a certificate warning when we loaded it up; read at your own risk.

Comments

  1. meh says:

    Just in time for xmas…

  2. Greg says:

    Ok, its a neat and fun project but it certainly does lack subtlety – with that close of a range subtlety would be a requirement. Trying to use that in the claimed “rfid warfare” would yield a fat lip at best and permanent bannination at worst.

    Nonetheless it is a cool implementation; I think claiming “rfid warfare” is a bit of a stretch though. Built into a subtle briefcase and spending time in a heavy rfid zone (corporate campus) could be interesting ;)

  3. Jared says:

    The “warning” you saw was because Firefox could not verify the SSL certificate. Remove the “s” in https and the link will work just fine with no warnings!

  4. nubie says:

    I’ll be back. . . to terminate your passport.

    Prepare. . . to have difficulties with cattle management.

    (Would a bulk degauss tool do roughly the same thing?)

  5. Vonskippy says:

    RFID Zappers?!?

    Do you guys carry about big black markers to teach those barcodes a lesson as well?

  6. John says:

    Well no, but nobody I know can read the barcode off my drivers license while it’s in my pocket.

  7. IceBrain says:

    Seems nice (I love the screen), but is definitively too big.

    @Vonskippy: Barcodes can’t be read from inside your pocket or wallet. With RFID there’s a *small chance* someone could.
    But we don’t really need excuses to hack something up, do we?

    Btw,
    “Firefox threw a certificate warning when we loaded it up; read at your own risk.”

    Accessing websites with bad certificates isn’t any more dangerous than accessing normal, non-encrypted sites.

  8. vec7or says:

    Heh, too bad phased arrays for RFID are rather big, so no directional weapons for now (refresh my memory but there are RFIDs that operate in GHz range, right ?)
    On other hand its rather easy to make them zap-proof – just add transils, varistors and zeners to the mix, but after all add more power zapper-wise and something WILL burn.

  9. Rmg says:

    Really smart, frying a goverment issued document.

    thats gonna cost a few euro’s to replace when hes travelling :’)

    nice project but i’d rather see a rfid shield of some sorts

    @icebrain mindlessly destroying stuff isn’t hacking

  10. spray190 says:

    @Rmg it is hacking when you have to construct a system in order to do it with :P, destruction is the root of construction…. remind you of the chicken and the egg???

  11. Doug says:

    looks like a pretty simple hack really.

    Building the sandcastle is harder then knocking it down :P

  12. spray190 says:

    @Doug
    but building the death ray to take out the sandcastle rather than using a foot is harder than building it :D, not necessary but harder and a lot cooler

  13. aztraph says:

    i liked this, but if the idea of nullifying an rfid tag is to keep a low profile, or helping someone else a low profile, I think the theatrics are a little much.

  14. ldopa says:

    @aztraph
    Well geez, I guess humor is a “hack” either.

  15. nave.notnilc says:

    It’d be nice to see more details of it, and if it had greater range.

  16. cath0de says:

    they sell these at walmart now. look in the kitchen department for the plug in boxes with a door on them. microsomethingorother.

  17. amishx64 says:

    Microwave anyone?

  18. Spork says:

    Yeah, microwave your passport then try to leave the country with it. Kinda hard to show someone your papers when they’re a pile of goo or ash.

  19. Eric says:

    portable EMP device…. /want I wonder what else this thing could fry; ICs, wrist watches, bacon, your testicles.

  20. Neroon says:

    You do not need to microwave your whole passport into oblivion, a few seconds for the chip are enough…

    Cool sounds btw…

  21. ogremage says:

    While this is theatrical, this kind of device can fry RFID tags that microwaves can’t. For instance the RFID tags that sit inside mine and everyone else’s tires (USA). I can’t easily take my tires off and nuke them for a few seconds. So this has added functionality that your kitchen appliance doesn’t. Currently those are the only tags in my house that I cannot shield (of all tags that I am aware of).

  22. atrain says:

    But can you use this to heat up your food on the go?

    Sure, its easy to destroy tags. What about destroying readers? (For legal and legitimate reasons only of course.)

  23. Hackius says:

    Won’t this ruin my speakers and amps if I point it at them acidentaly?

  24. markii says:

    this will be a *must have* in the future when “The Man” tags every living human being with rfid tags without their knowledge!
    I read somewhere that this is a plan that can be accomplished only by introducing a mass hysteria among a nation with new types of flu and by using special preset syringes+needles containing an RFID chip. Possible, very possible indeed…

  25. markii says:

    oh one more thing, welcome to the city of Tetragrammaton (from Equilibrium, the movie, because that’s were we are all headed)…

  26. markii says:

    sorry, it is Libria not Tetrablablatron… no more comments from me :)

  27. duffer1 says:

    interesting idea)

  28. pikuorguk says:

    I dunno, ten years ago we’d be making Matrix references.

    (PS: you’d notice if someone tried to inject you with an RFID tag, the needle they use looks like a drinking straw, it’s not exactly small)

  29. M4CGYV3R says:

    Good stuff. They don’t make you replace the document when the RFID dies so you get to have a pre-rfid passport again. Big Brother sucks.

  30. M4CGYV3R says:

    Also, someone should put a Solid-State Tesla Coil in one of these things and have a ‘Lightning Gun’. It already looks the part.

  31. Hackius says:

    @markii: I injected myself with the swine flu vaccine. There was nothing special about the serum or the seringe.

    (why did I inject myself? The place was overwhelmed and the doc knew me so he just gave me a seringe and a dose of vaccine. I went to a side at the medical center, disinfected, raised my sleeve, prepped the seringe, prepped the shot and injected myself)

  32. Roly says:

    Since you only want the body and flash unit, go see your friendly local photo processor for a bunch of free cameras. I don’t buy AA batteries any more either.

    The original was built into a rather less obvious disposable camera body, but even cameras are now “sus”, and the guts of the flash is small enough to make a much smaller unit.

    One way to bump up the oomph would be to add more caps in parallel from other cameras and/or stack up several flash units in series for some really scary voltage and impulse current capacity. A big dump SCR might be an idea if you don’t want the button to weld closed.

    Fair warning; about 20% of the cameras I have ratted still have a major charge on the cap, *days* after they were last used. It may not kill you but you sure know you’ve been bit.

    Apart from not fitting inside, another reason not to try microwaving tires is that they are about 90% carbon and contain wound wire belts and beads.

  33. tek says:

    Before you make a tinfoil hat be sure and measure your head. I think a lot of people here have theirs on too tightly.

  34. Godi says:

    The reason for the firefox certificate warning is because CACert, which is a free certificate provider, is not included in most browsers/operating systems.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAcert.org

  35. Godi says:

    Why are my comments not coming through?

  36. Godi says:

    I made a remark about the firefox security exception twice. Is it being filtered? So yes, Why?

  37. Nitori says:

    I had the same idea for a device.
    BTW you can make a cheap RFID killer with a coil of wire a photostrobe and a switch.

  38. AFIK There are very few RFID chips one would want to destroy Destroying those in a passport, drivers license may render needed documents effectively useless. Livestock RFID chips are another matter. I live in cattle country and haven’t yet heard of any required chipping of cattle being forced on producers. Anyway wouldn’t a “tin hat” for passports, drivers licenses, credit cards, etc, be the simplest solution, if unathorized reading is a concern? While I understand it’s used to justify destruction on so many levels “destruction is the root of construction” is so lame.

  39. 49teeth says:

    Went to get my dog today.From the pound as she got out.Somebody picked her up 3 days ago.When i went to claim her I id the dog.So I thought they were going to bring her around the counter and give her to me.NO they were n the back implanting this chip.Without my knowing.Then went on to charge me 45 bucks for it.

  40. 49teeth says:

    O and sorry just an update Big Brother just pissed on my carpet

  41. Coblat says:

    I just wanted to point something out. If this device was minimized to a smaller portable package, people could easily steal clothes without setting off the alarm.

    That is if no one notices.

  42. Coblat says:

    Finished reading the ccc.de site. I know that it mentions that rfid is not used as electronic theft protection, but that depends on which country you are in.

  43. Goja says:

    Well… no, you cant read a rfid passport inside your wallet.
    First you have to open it, scan the number inside (or type it in manually) and with that number generate the key to acces the rfid chip.

  44. Louis II says:

    Goja,
    There are still many RFID tags which are not well encrypted, or that can be decrypted with out having physical access. I’m pretty sure I read an article about it over a year a go and watched a video that had been posted here in the spring this year.

  45. anti new world order says:

    All you need is a portable emp.

    They are illegal in the united states of course.

    The united states has more laws than any other country in the world.

    Ironic isnt it.
    The one country that is supposed to be the land of the free.

    is now a full blown police state.
    All human activity is now recorded.

    People are all being herded into highly compact prison like cities so the enforcement agents can prey on you.

    The entire judiciary is now preying on the host population.

    When a cop pulls you over, they have more than 10,000 laws they can use against you.

    this is a total tyranny.

    the most important think I can tell you is the following, and I am not joking.

    there is no voting system
    there is no democracy
    The president works for the federal reserve system, which is not part of our government.

    They want all of your guns
    they want to forcibly vaccinate all you you.
    your children are being taught to commit suicide

    everything is parasitic

    I have counted 27 leaders in the last 1 year calling for WORLD GOVERNMENT

    wake up. your all being lied to.

  46. anon says:

    @anti new world order

    The tin foil is strong with you.

  47. christian says:

    Well to the comments of the rfid chip size they are now produced to such a small size that a small vile contains 100,000? of them…see article in popular science I believe about 3-6 months ago showing new production by Japanese company of micro rfid’s…they looked like glitter in a bottle.

    My understanding of Rfid coding is that it only contains a code number, though driver licenses etc contain more info, that is scanned fore and used to access a master database of information related to that code number.

    Not that I believe in the injection scenario, but the Bible does indicate one world goverment is coming along with the antichrist which will require a mark on the hand or forehead to buy or sell, and anyone who takes the mark will eventually, after the judgment, be thrown into the lake of fire by Gods holy angels.

    My suggestion is to Trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior today, Rom 3:23, Rom 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-10 and read the middle to end of the Gospels to see what the signs of Jesus Christs return and Revelation to see the summation at the end of time start after chapter 3.

  48. Penelope says:

    I recognize that these other methods lack the flash and certainly the style of the RFID Killer, but will a strong magnet Not work?
    What if, say, you took your rfid-chipped object to a Walmart checkout (or other preferred retail establishment) and comandeered their de-chipifyer ? {the sophistication just grows, I know}.

    I’m just very confused about the nuts and bolts of the operation: the camera parts are doing something else, it’s not just a flash of light, right {this would be the style part, not the substance, yes?}

    Like I said, I know other methods would invariably lack the style & grace of the RFID Killer, but I think it’s clear that I’m not going to be able to manage style nor grace anytime soon : }

    Is there anything already out there, short of an EMP blast, that also disables these without burn marks?

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