Cryptanalysis of the David-Prasad RFID ultralightweight authentication protocol

Julio Cesar Hernandez-Castro, Pedro Peris-Lopez, Raphael C.W. Phan, Juan M.E. Tapiador

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12 Citations (Scopus)


In September 2009, David and Prasad proposed at MobiSec'09 an interesting new ultralightweight mutual authentication protocol for low-cost RFID tags. In this paper, we present a quite powerful cryptanalytic attack against their proposal: we start with a traceability attack, then describe how it can be extended to leak long-term stored secrets, and finally present a full disclosure attack (named Tango attack) where all the secrets that the protocol is designed to conceal are shown to be retrievable, even by a passive attacker after eavesdropping only a small number of authentication sessions. These results imply that very realistic attack scenarios are completely possible. The Tango attack constitutes a new, simple, yet powerful technique of cryptanalysis which is based on the computation and full exploitation of multiple approximations to the secret values, using Hamming distances and the representation of variables in an n-dimensional space.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRadio Frequency Identification
Subtitle of host publicationSecurity and Privacy Issues - 6th International Workshop, RFIDSec 2010, Revised Selected Papers
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Workshop on Radio Frequency Identification Security (RFIDSec) - Security and Privacy Issues 2010 - Istanbul, Türkiye
Duration: 8 Jun 20109 Jun 2010
Conference number: 6th (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume6370 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Workshop on Radio Frequency Identification Security (RFIDSec) - Security and Privacy Issues 2010
Abbreviated titleRFIDSec 2010
Internet address

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