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Buzz Bites: RFID Viruses Hit Airwaves

Researchers in Amsterdam have concocted a proof-of-concept virus that propagates over RFID. The virus, written into code on an RFID tag, uses a SQL injection attack to infect a back-end database.

The researchers posit scenarios in which a prankster or disgruntled insider replaces a good tag with one that contains malicious code. When an RFID reader scans the tag, it carries this malicious code to an application server or database, where it executes.

But don't expect RFID viruses to take out Wal-Mart's supply chain anytime soon. An attacker must have knowledge of the type of tag used, the tag's data structure, access to tagged objects, and knowledge of the back-end system. That said, the authors advise developers to include basic protections. The paper is at www.rfidvirus.org. --andrew conry-murray, acmurray@ nwc.com

Indium Antimonide Valley?

Intel also has no plans to abandon silicon in favor of InSb. InSb transistors will ride on a silicon base because InSb breaks apart too easily by itself. Plus, a wholesale move to InSB might mean rebranding an entire region, and "Indium Antimonide Valley" just doesn't roll off the tongue.

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