Seminar 10

Time: Tuesday Nov 18th at 4pm
Place: Gunness Student Center Conference Room.

Refreshments will be served at 3:45pm.

Title: RFID Privacy without Killing
Ravi Pappu, Co-founder of ThingMagic Inc.

This talk will present a new approach to enabling privacy and security
without killing RFID tags. The key idea is to distribute shares of a secret
encryption key in a collection of RFID tags, such that a reader with
access to fewer tags than a pre-established threshold is unable to
recover the the secret key and  decrypt the information stored in the
tags. I will show  how this approach  can be used to enhance privacy
and security in a large subset of supply chain applications.

The advantages of this approach over prior work is that it provides
a robust protocol-independent mechanism to distribute PINs and
passwords without requiring always-on connectivity, changes to the
air interface protocol, or changes to the tag hardware. This approach
also allows counterfeit detection as a collateral benefit.

*Joint work with Dr. Ari Juels (RSA, CUSP)  and Bryan Parno (CMU)*

Ravi Pappu co-founded ThingMagic with four MIT classmates in 2000. He currently
runs the Advanced Development Group there, which develops cutting-edge systems
based on ThingMagic’s portfolio of RFID products and solving challenging RFID system
optimization problems for its customers. Most recently, he led the design and
implementation of the Tool Link system in collaboration with Ford Motor Company and

He received his Ph.D. from MIT for the invention of physical one-way functions.
While at MIT, he co-created the first dynamic holographic video system with haptic
interaction. He has published 26 papers, and is a named inventor on 13 US and
international patents.

Ravi has been honored as one of Technology Review’s top 100 innovators under the
age of 35. He received the Carl T. Humphrey Memorial Award for contributions to the
engineering profession from Villanova University and was named a Fellow of the World
Technology Network in the Social Entrepreneurship category in 2006. In 2008, he was
recognized as one of the 40 under 40 by the Boston Business Journal.


posted Nov 20, 2008, 1:13 PM by Lang Lin   [ updated Dec 2, 2008, 5:59 AM ]

Slides of this presentation;

Video (WMV, 150Kbps) of this presentation

Related paper:

1-1 of 1