DIY RFID Implant


[Quethe] implanted an RFID chip into his hand so that he can access his handgun safe without having to fumble around for keys or buttons. He’s also planning to do more with the chip, including installing readers so he can access his car without keys. [Quethe] claims that inserting the chip hurts less than drawing blood. From the video he’s apparently using livestock grade equipment for the injection. While we applaud his ingenuity, we’re not sure that the convenience of easier access to guns and cars is actually worth the trouble of putting a chip in your body.

We’ve covered quite a a few hackers that have chosen to chip themselves in the past. [Mikey Sklar] did it back in 2005 after constructing a pair of pants to block the signal. [Amal Graafstra] ended up writing RFID Toys after implanting himself. [Larry Pesce] from the PaulDotCom podcast had his chip cloned on stage by [Major Malfunction] at ShmooCon. [Annalee Newitz] had her chip cloned by [Jonathan Westhues] while covering RFID hacking for Wired. It’s interesting to see the practice of DIY RFID chipping gaining traction, and, thankfully, all of the people just listed understand that it’s not a form of security.

[via Boing Boing]

58 thoughts on “DIY RFID Implant

  1. Theres an alternative shop (piercings, tattoos, clothing, etc) in Birmingham UK that offers having a blank RFID chip for your programming to be implanted for about £35 but i forget the name of the shop, i’m sure someone else would know it (been over a year since i’ve been there).

    I keep thinking about doing it for a while but i always relise my hands are a little to boney for it to not be noticed or uncomfortable.

    Oddly enough i found one of the chips on a long haired rug at an ex girlfriends, now that confused me…

  2. I really like this idea, though I’m kind of iffy about injecting. What we need is an RFID ring or an RFID watch band… Infact I wonder how hard it would be to put a small RFID tag into my watch band…
    I think I’ve got an idea.

  3. implants are not new, which puzzles me why this guy has done so little research into implants. putting one there will put stress and strain on the skin covering it, and so in between 2 months and 2 years (depending on exact location) the chip will reject, causing the body to push it out through the skin (this is seen most commonly with badly done eyebrow piercings). this is because the skin on your hand moves so much when flexing the fingers.

    also, i saw no evidence of any alcohol spray. this would have made it hurt less, but more importantly it would have disinfected the area. the area they did it in wasnt exactly sterile either. people need to be more careful.

    it is a cool idea though :P

    1. I have had my implants for 3 years now and no problems other than the first one a 125khz em tag that was experimental and didn’t have a texture etched on it. I migrated a bit , so I had to remove it and replace it with one that was acid etched and haven’t had a bit of trouble from it since.
      I just got a HID WG26 glass implant made so I can use it instead of my prox card.

  4. cool but am i the only one who could do without the softcore gore? i can imagine what is involved with injecting a person with an object. i don’t necessarily need to witness a close-up video of it.

  5. “Hurts less than drawing blood” less than drawing blood with what? a really really big needle… I don’t care what he says.. that hurt, a whole lot.

    Anyway, i like the idea, but as stated in another post i think my fingers/hands aren’t padded enough for this to go where he put it, even if i wanted this kind of thing, I’d want a local anesthetic first.

    1. I work in the medical field and poking you with a local anesthetic would probably just cause you the same or more pain in the end after all why get poked twice if not 3 times when you can get poked once and be done with it.

  6. Holy crap, that needle went in sssslllloooooooowwwlllyyyy! And why wasn’t he injecting the capsule at the same time and speed as he was withdrawing the needle? Isn’t the idea to cut the skin with the needle, then lay the capsule inside the incision? It seems foolish to force a blunt capsule through un-cut flesh. It really seemed like an unprofessional installation all the way around. (I suppose that’s the D.I.Y. part of all this.)

    Me, I’d ask a doctor to inject it after some Novocaine and Valium and more Novocaine. And scotch. Definitely scotch. Alcohol, something for the wound, obviously, and scotch.


  7. There are alot of other issues involved with doing injections of this nature, if his body doesnt reject the implant it migrating down to his thumb joint and stopping movement could be incredibly painful as well as requiring surgery. the other problem is alot of the vet grade implants also contain a unique protein on the outside that is used to get the implant to bond better to tissue. this being the case, if it were to ever break or he wanted it removed, he would potentially have a very difficult time getting all the fused tissue removed around it. entirely too risky to do-it-yourself at the moment.

  8. I agree with everyone when it comes to the fact that this cool. The idea behind the RFID being set up to allow you into your house, gun safe (in this case), car(s), etc… The security factor of the RFID is also a concern as well. Once a person was able to get the signal, and then doing what ever with it then they could use any RFID device to get into your stuff. Maybe thats just me being parinoid, but hey got to keep that in mind. I agree with the post that jack had up a little farther. Why not just use something like a ring, or a watch band as an RFID device for this stuff if RFID is what you want to use? Or why not just put the tag in the palm of your hand so that when you go to open anything that requires the RFID tag it would look like your doing the Jedi Mind trick huh how about that?

  9. I couldn’t care less about the implant in his hand… what I want is an RFID setup that I can install in my car instead of my keys, something like they use on the new Cadillacs and Infinities…

    Home installations seem pretty straight forward but I’ve yet to see a car installation that works like an OEM setup. They said he was going to RFID his car… so lets see it!

  10. RFID watch is easy. I did that with my Mobil EZ-PASS years ago.

    RFID ring, also very easy if you get that polymer clay that bakes into a hard plastic. make your ring, put RFID inside, bake it (Only at 300, it will survive)

    There you go. simple easy, and as far as I’m concerned way easier/convienent than sticking yourself with a huge needle.

  11. using rfid for local security on guns safe and things of that nature sound too much like the mark of beast for my taste, i think i would have stuck to something a little easier like a finger print scanner or an retinal scanner

  12. I think this is a neat idea, considering that many places have laws requiring that handguns be locked away, regardless of whether you have children.

    If it takes you 30 seconds to get to it in an emergency, especially in the middle of the night, it might not make any difference that you had it at all.

    This would allow people in those places a win-win situation. It’s not child accessible, it complies with the law, but you can get access to your weapon in a couple of seconds, just as quickly as pulling it from a nightstand or under your bed.

    Great idea, IMO, but I’m glad I don’t live somewhere with kids in the house OR laws like that, so I don’t worry about it.

  13. Needle insertion was waaaaay too slow. Go quickly, it hurts less; trust me on this, I’m a doctor.

    Judging by the size needle I saw it looks like a 16ga, roughly the size of a blood-donation needle, but inserted in a much more sensitive area. I’d numb myself up before doing this, but I also have unlimited access to local anesthetics courtesy of my job, so I know it’s not an option for everyone. Ice would not be a terrible idea. And for any implant, you need more than an alcohol wipe – you need betadine, or better still chlorhexidine.

  14. I was going to mention betadine as well, I give platelets on a reg basis and they take their time cleaning up the puncture site before they stick a huge needle into you.

    That insertion just screams infection to me, alcohol is just not enough, imagine all the germs that survived getting injected under the skin…

  15. i like the idea..would want to do more research on code encryption..could see a lot of uses for a PIC(Personal Identification Chip)..securing car ,home, firearms, computers, bedroom boor, the bathroom boor(lol)

    1. If the rdif chip isn’t useful for weapons. most of the time when get stolen they don’t even get returned , if found. the rdif chip would just make it easier for the government to take ur weapons away for most everything else I see where you are coming from.

    2. If you implant yourself with the rdif chip , you gave every chance to be human and you gave up all control. It’s okay some people are meant to be cattle and sheep and nothing more in this world. You who encourage it all will be the reason why no one will have any voice left to speak from because it’s easier to be enslaved rather than stand up for what you still have faith in. Ignorance is bliss.

  16. Personally I believe it unwise to insert a foreign object, that isn’t a life saving medical device. Perhaps someday watches with FR transparent cambers for RFID chips will be marketed. Until then, I would stick with custom made jewelry.

  17. RFID is something to use as a matter of convenience, I don’t think it should be used in a security setting. It would be great to put one of these in a ring. If stolen you would be able to ID it at a pawn shop. In an ideal situation of course.

  18. For all of you who like the idea, let me first to start off by asking are you all brain washed? I mean seriously people you are talking about putting some sort of tracking device in you as if you were cattle? WTF is wrong with you people. You obviously haven’t weighed out the pros and cons of this. Sure if you kids go missing I see the validity but even s, i don’t want to be at the mercy of the gov’t, or whatever entity that heads this project. 1st you guys (Brits) allow your arms to be taken from you, now you flirt with the idea f being micro chipped. You must not be taught history anymore in your schools… Star of David anyone…

  19. Some people need to inform themselves before posting.

    He is implanting a passive low-frequency RFID chip (the low-freq. versions are the most common to implant and I haven’t seen any implantable high-frequency ones) which operates between 100kHz and 150kHz, it can’t be read from a distance greater than ca. 30cm.

    RFID chips are identification devices, and not built for positioning or tracking.

  20. I am well informed about this subject. I have known of RFID’s for a few years already my friend. There are many different applications for them, and some include a tracking device in case one’s child ever went missing. I am telling you that these type of things will be abused by those in power. Believe it. There is much more info on it than you think.

  21. Well thought out and well planned however someone could just use a remote sensor to pick up the rfid code. or for the lazy thief, just kinda saw off the body part that it was put in. i would cut out the chip, because im not that good at hacking signals, sorry that’s my brain working.

  22. You guys have no idea what you are getting into or unleashing on yourselves. This will result in your own enslavesment.
    Not protection.


    I thought hackers were smart.
    I guess not all are bright

  23. OMG!!! the Bible is 100% right about all of this( the chips in our hads/foreheads n everything) read Revalations for yourself and you will see that it was alll predicted centuries ago!! The anti christ is coming soon! REPENT!!!

  24. Hell, every major bible historian will tell you that the book of Revelations in non-canon. It was written after the first council of Nicea, (where priests and politicians decided what books to include in the bible). It was added 100 years later because the church had trouble converting the germanic pagans, It added a kind of “join us or suffer for eternity” feel to the bible. Even though its original message was an allegory for early christians to rebel against emperor Nero.

    now for all the government conspiracy people. Wouldn’t you want to voluntarily get implanted in the place on your body of choice instead of secretly put on you later by the government? That way you could get it removed if the conspiracy comes to fruition, thereby reversing the element of control.

    I like the idea of rfid implants, but not in the hand, way too much flexing and movement. any implant would interfere with muscle and bone movements. A better place would be just above the back of the wrist. combines the ease of use of a hand implant without the downfalls.

  25. I am an RN – and I can tell you honestly that this was a bad idea. Regardless of the seemingly sterile environment that RF-ID tag has many microscopic porous dimples around it from the manufacturing process – I don’t have to tell you that electronic manufacturers don’t exactly have to follow strict handling code. This will most likely (impo)end up with an infection of some sort. Not to mention the fact that the dermis will most definitely reject an object that close to the epidermis.

  26. infections aside, did anyone look at the size of that !@#*$%& needle?

    and while this is a great idea for medical records and fast patient processing, shielding RFIDs is not that difficult. nor is removing one that close to the surface. I have dug plenty of odd bits of particulate matter out of my dermis before… some of it was an indirect result of my late night visits to this particular site.

  27. to Wraith,
    yha ur idea about putting your own chipnin before the gov makes yu do it would make sense except that the governmemnt will creat it’s OWn chip and you will HAVE to have it implanted, plus if you’ll try to take out the gov’s chip you will die. IDK who told me this but they said sumthin like the chip will be connected to your blood stream and if you try to remove it it will unleas a poison?? idk i really don’t remember exactly what he said but the point is you won’t be ABLE to remove it.

  28. Katerina,

    I assume that this same person was the one that told you about the governments powers of mind reading, and how you had better wear your tin-foil hat 24/7?

    Or maybe how they’re covering up the alien visitors while using their technology to further their cause?

    Ohh! Hey, did you hear about the one with big foot? In my opinion, the poor guy is just misunderstood.

    The idea of the government using something like this against you (at this point in time) and the whole “mark of the beast” idea are both the exact same things — conspiracy theories. Go back to covering your house in red duct tape and leave everyone else to their fun.

    While infection is a very large possibility with this method of implant, the practicality behind it is enormous. If there were somewhere around here like the ‘Oasis market’ that dan and alex were talking about earlier, I could see myself getting one.

  29. to darkus, how could everthing that was written in Revalations be true? the earthquales famines floods etc. n how the earth will become so hot at the end of time there will be no way to escape it? Hello the who global warming thing!! and that a large part of the earth will be covered by flood? when the ice caps melt you’ll see what i ment the funny thing is EVERYTHING will come true and thickheaded people like you still won’t be abke to see the truth

  30. quote: katerina
    srryabout my spelling im kinda in a hurry

    Staying one step ahead of the government must be difficult.

    Seriously, though, Earth goes through cycles of warming and cooling. What we are going through is nothing new, nothing special, it has happened many times before, and will happen again in the future. Also, natural disasters are just that: natural. They happen. I can say now that there will be tornadoes in the American Midwest during tornado season, or that a hurricane will form in the southern Atlantic. Mark my words, I’m a prophet (profit?).

    People amaze me. /facepalm

  31. Basically an interesting idea, my dogs are “tagged”. I am not familiar with cloning rfids and the security issues mentioned, but it would seem to me that there would be a way to do it and keep security. It all goes back to “if they want it they will get it” of the gone in 60 seconds days. If someone is going to clone your rfid, then they must already know about you being tagged, and why, which means your security was lost from the very beginning. Rule 1 of any security system, not advertising you have it.
    I enjoyed the other comments concerning the gov, etc. just makes my day and give me a chuckle.

  32. Wonder if this guy ever considered using epoxy to glue the chip to a finger ring? Yeah, you can lose a ring but seriously, it’d be harder to lose than a key or a swipe card and no artificial junk in your body…….

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