Approaching the time lower bound on cloned-tag identification for large RFID systems

Kai Bu, Xuan Liu, Bin Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Tag cloning attacks threaten a variety of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) applications but are hard to prevent. To secure RFID applications that confine tagged objects in the same RFID system, this paper studies the cloned-tag identification problem. Although limited existing work has shed some light on the problem, designing fast cloned-tag identification protocols for applications in large-scale RFID systems is yet not thoroughly investigated. To this end, we propose leveraging broadcast and collisions to identify cloned tags. This approach relieves us from resorting to complex cryptography techniques and time-consuming transmission of tag IDs. Based on this approach, we derive a time lower bound on cloned-tag identification and propose a suite of time-efficient protocols toward approaching the time lower bound. The execution time of our protocol is only 1.4 times the value of the time lower bound, being over 91% less than that of the existing protocol. Even better, we further dig up an adaptive protocol that can yield higher time efficiency under some scenarios. The proposed protocols may benefit also RFID applications that distribute tagged objects across multiple places.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalAd Hoc Networks
Issue numberPART B
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014


  • Cloned-tag identification
  • Cloning attack
  • RFID
  • Time-efficient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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