Communication has always been a medium connecting different people with different ideas. Customarily, it is through books we read great people thoughts. But with arrival of Internet or wireless network, it has become possible to reach anyone at anytime, which means anyone would access anybody`s data. Hence, it is necessary to bore in mind that every improvement in communication brings new a hard-to-tackle problem.
There are different ways to handle this problem of unauthorized intrusion for Internet. This is done by installation of Anti-virus software, firewall, Malware and Spyware software that prevent intrusion of malicious software, which corrupts data or extracts secret information from a system. In case of a wireless network, there are different types of authentication services like MAC ID filtering, Static DHCP, WEP encryption, WPA WPA2, 802.1X, LEAP, PEAP, TKIP, RADIUS, Smart Cards, USB Tokens and Software Tokens.
Another commonly known form of authentication process is biometric authentication. In biometric identification process, authentication is carried out by eyes retina and iris scan; hand or finger scan; facial pattern scan or by voice analysis. But, among these the most interesting concept is of RFID (radio frequency identification). Basically, Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is an identification process using radio waves to automatically identify objects. In radio frequency identification process, information is stored and retrieved using device called RFID tag or RFID transponder-combination of microchip and antenna (RFID tag receives, retransmits and amplifies a signal in response to a predefined received signal). The antenna enables the chip to transmit the identification information to a reader in form of radio waves. The reader converts the radio waves reflected back from the RFID tag into digital information. This information is transferred to computer for further use.
Different types of RFID tags
There are two types of RFID tags. These are passive and active tags.
1. Passive RFID tags: Passive RFID tags don`t use battery. They simply draw electrical current from signals (passed by tag`s antenna) and transmit a signal back. Since passive RFID don`t use internal power source, they are thin and have unlimited life span. Passive tags have practical read distances ranging from about 2 mm and more, depending on the selected radio frequency.
2. Semi-passive tags: Semi-passive tags use an additional power supply-battery, which allows the tag IC to be constantly powered. However, semi-passive tags communicate by taking power from the RFID reader.
Advantages of using additional battery:
· Aerials can be used to optimise signals, which are sent back.
· Due to the use of batteries, Semi-passive RFID tags are faster and stronger to respond back on receiving a signal compared to passive tags.
3. Active RFID tags have an internal power source, which is used to run the microchip`s circuitry and to broadcast a signal to a reader.
· It covers bigger range compared to passive and semi-passive tags.
· It has larger memory compared to passive and semi-passive tags.
Active and semi-passive tags can be used for tracking high-value goods that need to be scanned over long ranges, such as railway cars on a track. The only problem with them is that they cost a dollar or more-making them too expensive to put on low-cost items. Compared to active tags Passive UHF tags cost less than 50 cents each today (In terms of volumes-- about a million tags).
· By implanting Low frequency RFID tags in animal body or their outer skin, it is possible to track them. Hence, Low frequency RFID tags could be used to find lost-pets.
· High-frequency RFID tags can be used as folows:
a. To keep a track of books in library or bookstore
b. To maintain tight security in building
c. To track airline baggage
d. Microwave RFID tags are used in long range access control for vehicles.
RFID and biometric system
By uniting benefits of RFID with biometric technology, a foolproof security system could be made. In fact, such an attempt has already been started. The newly proposed system, converts the fingerprint minutiae into unique integers, and these integers are stored in the database instead of the templates of the finger-print-minutiae. These data is compared with RFID tag and if both the data are similar, then access is granted. The biornetric-based RFID system seems to be trust worthier as it prevents misuse of RFID tags. The reliability of RFID-biometric bond comes from the fact that the biometric details are not stored in provide format; instead they are converted into integers dispelling the fear of data stealing.