Discussing RFID



  • edited February 2013
    just to clarify, the mifare classic is a standards compliant tag... it is an ISO 14443-A standard tag... it's just not part of the NFC Forum standard, so there are still many uses for the tag... but I can see if you've purchased it specifically for NFC functionality, it will not work for you with the N7 or N10.

    I met with the NXP western US regional manager two weeks ago regarding the NTAG203 substrate miniaturization project. Because of the extremely low volume involved, I'm working every angle I can to move this ahead... trying to find other use cases for them to explore that might nudge this concept along. I'm also working with manufacturers to determine if it might be possible to attach coil wound antennas to the extremely small pads designed for etched or printed antenna connections. There simply is no ETA at this time, but I will keep this forum updated as things progress.

    AmmonRa, if you would like to return your order, email me and we'll work out an RMA.
  • I did a quick review of the Android code base and, while I'm no java coder, it looks like the authentication process is right there in the java code. What's confusing to me is that Broadcom's chipset used in the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 is totally capable of reading and writing to ISO 14443-A standard tags, so I'm really unsure where the communication breakdown is. Google obviously wanted to support the Mifare Classic line of tags (mini, S50, S70, etc.)... it's right there in the code.

    Anyone know someone working at Google?
  • Could be worth checking with Martijn Coenen, as he did most of the last changes to the NFC classes.

  • yeah, it really does seem like they wanted to support it, but in the Mifare file it says "Implementation of this class on a Android NFC device is optional".

    I agree about asking Martijn Coenen, it mentions nfc on his G+ page, and since he wrote that code, he should know what the issue is.

    thanks for the offer of returning it, but I've decided to keep it, I can't use it as I intended, but it may still be useful if I get a different reader.
    please keep me/us informed about the NTAG203 project, I'd like to get one if it is realised.
  • I've commented on one of Martijn' G+ page posts regarding Mifare Classic support on N4/N10. I will post here when I have more news regarding  TAG203/Ultralight implantables.
  • Just wanted to say, I just ordered an nfc tag and implant stuff from dangerousthings.com, and I'm documenting it on my new blog:

    Super excited to get it implanted Friday.
  • Sorry for the double post, but I'm interested in the incompatibility -- as stated, it's probably not a matter of hardware incompatibility (or even software) but simply the Broadcomm NFC chip in the Nexus 4/10 not supporting NXP semi's proprietary (and broken!) crypto in the Mifare Classic, and not wanting to pay licensing fees to NXP semi.

    We'll probably see more NFC in the future, and I bet that when Apple finally gets on board it'll be one of Boradcomm's new WiFi+NFC chips or something like that, in which case MiFare Classic will quickly fade into nothingness.

    Catch 22 really, the NTAG203 is compliant but has a MUCH smaller size than the MiFare Classic 1k in the current Dangerous Things xM1 nfc capsule. Too small for business card or anything apart from a URL... Too small size for me to consider worth switching just for the present small incompatibility.

    Is there any possibility for a compliant capsule that has 1k+ Amal? Even like in a few years or something.

    I'd be interested in helping in any way I can. I'm pretty interested in this type of stuff, even though I just recently dived in.

  • I actually had a chance to speak to a regional NXP rep about the issue and it apparently does come down to a licensing issue of some kind. I'm not sure what the details are, and I couldn't share them anyway because I'm under NDA with NXP... but apparently there is some kind of circle jerk going on between phone manufacturers, carriers, and NXP and Google's N4 and N10 lay out side that party... so no joy on supporting Crypto-1. 

    I do know that NXP does have a much larger NTAG203-type, NFC compliant tag coming out, but the memory size and availability are not yet known. Again, if I did know, I probably couldn't tell you... but rest assured it's on my roadmap for glass encasement.

    I've got a NTAG203 based bioglass tag solution in prototyping now with a design firm and will be engaging manufacturing soon. I'm really hoping we're only about 30-45 days out at this point... barring any snags.

    I do want to address one thing however... the idea that the Mifare Classic will quickly fade away into nothingness is not accurate. Many people who are excited about NFC aren't aware of the vast history of RFID tags and standards, on which NFC tag standards rest like jelly on toast. The MFC family of tags are still one of the most popular ICs sold, their global interrogator base (installed readers) is huge, and the impact that newly emerging NFC mobile devices has had on IC sales so far has been negligible at best. In my opinion, the Mifare Classic family has a long life ahead of it regardless of whether NFC devices can read it or not.
  • Hi, sorry it took me such a long, finally got it implanted. I got Scott Jania, the same guy who did my magnet to do it.

    By the way, I'm buying a proxmark3 to read/write it with.


  • Interesting method... going in from the back. Was it difficult to orient the injector assembly that way?
  • That's also the way I installed your NFC RFID, it seemed like the safest way in case the syringe slipped a bit. It was a little awkward for positioning, but all in all really not too bad.
  • edited May 2013

    Regarding the Mifare Classic, I've been looking into adding NDEF formatting to a Mifare Classic tag but so far I have been unsuccessful.  I've tried two different readers, one of which appears as a SmartCard device and one that appears as a Proximity device.  Both of them have little in the way of software beyond the low-level device drivers.  The Sony RC-S380 is the one with a Proximity Device driver, which allows me to code a Windows Desktop applocation that reads and writes tags in any of the four standard NFC Forum formats, but when I put a Mifare Classic 1K card on the reader, I don't even get a Device Arrived event notification.  Hopefully, I will be able to do more after I begin using the SDK to send commands directly to the reader.

    I found a formatting utility that claims to be able to add NDEF formatting to a Mifare Classic tag, but unfortunately it only runs on Linux and not on Windows.  The reason I want to add NDEF formatting is that my Windows Phone can read/write Mifare Classic tags if they're NDEF formatted, but not otherwise.  To make things even more frustrating, you can't add the NDEF formatting using a Windows Phone. 

    @amal, would it be possible to get a Mifare glass tag with the NDEF formatting already on it?  That would make it a lot more useful to me as a Windows Phone user..

  • Hi @mkabala,

    That's strange that there is no app capable of formatting the Mifare S50 with an NDEF record on it. If you want to send it back to me I will format it for you and ship it back to you.

    Do you happen to have one of these ACR122U readers; https://dangerousthings.com/shop/usb-nfc-reader/ - if so, I can probably whip up some software for you over the weekend that can format the Mifare S50 with a blank NDEF record, and if the gods are smiling, also allow you to set Crypto-1 keys A and B... if I have time :)

  • @amal, you should be receiving the Mifare S50 tag today, but it is non-functional at the moment.  If you want to NDEF format a working tag, we can work out the arrangements via private email.

    In response to your question, I do have an ACR122U as well as a Sony SC-S380 reader/writer but haven't been able to get either of them to work with a Mifare Classic tag.  Admittedly, I have been preoccupied with other things lately and haven't been able to devote enough time to developing any software.  If you have something that works, I would be interested in looking at the source code and/or getting the executable so that I can NDEF format my own (paper) tags.  Don't send me the source code unless you don't mind having me put it into my own Windows Desktop application.  I just got a few NDEF formatted Mifare tags and they work just fine with Windows Phone 8.

    No hurry though.  I need to heal up for at least a month before I'll be ready to implant anything.

    BTW, that video I sent you might be of interest to readers of this forum.  Mind if I post the YouTube link in a new thread?

  • Hi @mkabala, no problems with posting the video link. I did receive the tag. I will test it and let you know the outcome. As for application code, I may just put it up on github.
  • So, I'm starting to prepare for the RFID hack as well this summer.  I've managed to source some Hitags, as well as the decryption algorithm for them.  I remember that @amal used to have one of those.  Amal, was there a particular reason that you replaced the Hitag?  And would you advise against using them?

  • Hi @Ian, I ended up replacing the HITAG for a few reasons;

    - the HITAG only supported 40 bit challenge response encryption

    - it operated at 134khz and I was getting a new xM1 (Mifare S50 based) which was 1) NFC compatible with the majority of NFC enabled devices, 2) supported better crypto, and 3) had far more memory space

    - the reader gear required to leverage the cyrpto-security features of the HITAG was difficult and expensive to come by, even OEM gear. Because of this one fact, I didn't end up using the HITAG for anything aside from doing a research experiment with it... but that could have easily been done with a standard non-implanted tag.

    Hope that helps!

    Amal ;)
  • I wasn't the one doing the injecting from that angle, so I can't really comment, Scott didn't seem to have any problem, although he did mention that the needle wasn't very sharp.

    it's healed well, but it's very close to surface, when I flex my hand I can see the bulge made by the tag, is that likely to be a problem? anyway, it's not rejecting, so hopefully it will be fine.
  • @AmmonRa,

    The Avid injectors are crap... I guess Avid doesn't care about quality when it comes to their pet injectors because, after all, it's just being jabbed into a dumb animal. Dicks.

    I've already dumped the Avid injector and I'm upgrading my kit. At the moment I have LF tags in their own injectors and I'm working on injectors for other products; https://dangerousthings.com/shop/xemi-em4200-2x12mm-injection-kit/

    As far as your tag goes, that's a perfect depth. It's resting just under the dermis layer, which is exactly where you want it to be. It will not be a problem as I can also see my tags when I do grippy things like strongly grip a cup in my hand. It makes removal very easy as well, should you ever need/want to remove/replace it.
  • @amal: So, the xM1 supports better encryption than the hitags?  I guess that negates the entire reason why anyone would want to use the latter...
  • @Ian, both tags have had their encryption broken, but the Crypto-1 encryption used by Mifare "classic" tags pretty much requires you to snoop a conversation between reader and tag... simply attacking the card directly won't yield results in a timely fashion. The HITAG however is much more vulnerable; http://www.rfidtoys.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=487&title=philips-mifare-hitag-s-encryption

    All in all, the one thing the HITAG does have over Mifare is that it can be programmed in such a way as to emulate an EM4102 tag... however when the HITAG is in this mode, you cannot use any of the security features.

    There are legit applications for the HITAG, but I just don't think body augmentation is one of them... particularly when truly NFC compliant implantable tags will soon be available (at Dangerous Things of course)
  • Gotcha.  I guess if the hitag can't use any of its security features when in EM4102 mode, I might as well just use an actual EM4102 tag for that purpose.  Since it doesn't look like the NFC-compatible tags are EM4200/4100 compatible, it may be prudent to have a EM4102 tag in one hand and a NFC-compatible one in the other.  Or something like that.  I wonder if it would be possible to design a tag that's both NFC-compatible and EM4200/4100 compatible?

    Do tell when a fully NFC-compliant implantable tag is available; I could have me some fun with that!
  • @Ian,

    To have a tag that is NFC and EM compliant, it would need two antenna loops that were tuned for 125khz and 13.56mhz. There are large ISO card form factor tags that support both, but it's basically two separate tags embedded in the same plastic... nothing very special about that. It would be impossible though to pack that all inside a tiny glass tube.

    If you have a Facebook account, keep an eye on http://facebook.com/dangerousthings for new product releases. We're working on two pretty fricken cool truly NFC compliant tags that are due to be released, and I can tell you the range on them compared to current glass tag tech is phenomenal!
  • amal 
    Hi, I am hoping I can get some advice from you.

    As you know I have one of your mifare classic implants. For interfacing with it I have a nexus 4, which won't do more than read the UID, and will only do that if I get the phone in just the right position. I have an alcatel ot-922, which is able to read and write the entire tag, and has no issues about positioning. and I have a proxmark3 with official PCB HF antenna. no matter what I do I can't get the prox to read the implant. I also tried building my own antenna following this https://code.google.com/p/proxmark3/wiki/Antennas, but couldn't even read normal credit card size tags.

    Have you ever used a proxmark3? and if so, did you have issues with reading the implant tags? any other suggestions about what I could try to get the prox to work with this tag?


  • Hi @AmmonRa, sorry for the late response... hard to remember to manually check this site amongst the flurry of facebook updates and email notifications for other sites.

    The stock proxmark3 does not speak crypto1 and has a hard time with the file schema on the DESFire chips used in credit cards. It is s signal analyzer at best, and while it does wonders with the air interface, it has a hard time with access protocols.

    There are firmware releases though that imbue the proxmark with special powers; https://code.google.com/p/proxmark3/wiki/Mifare - to get the maximum value from your proxmark, you will need to learn how to program it to do what you want. It is a powerful RF platform, but the stock options leave much to be desired.
  • I should have mentioned that the prox works fine with other Mifare Class cards I have, which means its running the right version of firmware. so I know it must be something to do with the antenna.
  • edited March 2014
    Hi all, I'm new here and currently working my way through a RFID problem of my own. 

    I'm a college student, all of our building access is through the HID Thinline II and I have always wanted to have the ability to "jedi" through doors rather than fish around in my pants for my ID card (often misplaced). I took the first steps toward this today by contacting our head of access control, and she was surprisingly supportive of my project, but has to clear it with her higher-ups in our security department.

    I'm wondering what tag would be the best to use for this application. I'm looking for it to:
    • Work with the above 125 kHz readers
    • Have the necessary security requirements (she mentioned a secondary code that would have to be stored as well?)
    • Be writeable, or at least be able to request a certain ID be stored on it (to ensure that my number is not a duplicate of other students)
    • Be (somewhat?) cheap (College student here after all)

    I realize that RFID is on the way out, but I'm on my way out (of college) as well, so I have no problem having outdated tech in me for a year or two until I can preform a major upgrade. Is this something that could be feasibly done? Where should I begin looking to source parts for this? Will the chips that @amal sells work for this, or should I look to HID itself? Thanks for any help.
  • Hey CMYK,

    I'm new here as well, but I have done a lot of looking to try a similar project at my school, which also uses HID cards. I work in our tech support department and was able to get my hands on one of the USB HID readers we use in offices and was not able to read a couple test EM4100 tags I had with that, and similarly I was not able to read my school ID on the 125kHz parallax reader I had, even though they should both be the same frequency.

    If your school's back-end system is anything like ours, the access control office should be able to change your number in the system, although the security code for your school will still be a hurdle. If  you can figure out a way to write that security piece in, though, there should be no problem having a different number.

    The approach I was planning to take would be similar to the one in this thread. I was trying to get my school to sell me a couple non-printed cards that were not assigned any access so I could melt the plastic off and try to build an implant from that. Unfortunately, after the department requested more details on my project, and I gave it to them, I stopped getting replies haha.

    I have looked at HID too, and poked all over the place to try to find HID glass tags. I have found glass tags made by HID, but they seem to be more for product/livestock tracking, like other glass tags, and not for access control like their cards.

    Hopefully this information is helpful!
  • Since I'm reading this anyhow... I got one of the earlier models of Dangerous Things RFID tags implanted and despite how crazy the pictures may look up above, it's not terribly painful. If that's holding you back for some reason it's not a good enough deterrent. It's just a little shot.
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