[LINK] Re: RFID in Govt, and in People

Geoff Ramadan gramadan at umd.com.au
Fri Oct 6 17:18:32 AEST 2006

Kim Holburn wrote:
> On 2006 Oct 06, at 1:42 PM, Geoff Ramadan wrote:
>> Kim Holburn wrote:
>>> On 2006 Oct 05, at 5:38 PM, Geoff Ramadan wrote:
> ...
>>> Hmmm.... not really answering the point.  The fact is that it is 
>>> possible to read these things at much greater distances than the 
>>> industry designed readers.  I'm sure there are lots of different 
>>> technologies and frequencies involved but none of that precludes 
>>> reading cards at a much greater distance than we are being told.
>> The standard way to increase read range is by increasing the power to, 
>> or gain of the antenna (or both).
>> I restrict my discussion to what is legal and conforms to Australian 
>> Communications Authority regulatory regime.
> Good call.  Thanks.  Unfortunately there are going to be people who 
> don't and my interest from a security point of view (mostly out of 
> personal interest) is to work how vulnerable I am (I have one of these 
> new-fangled passports) to my personal data being read from a distance 
> and not necessarily by people who obey the law.


To make a long range HF RFID reader that could read passports, the device and 
antenna would be quite large.

Generally speaking the read range is equal to the antenna size. You also need to 
increase the power output to the antenna (increase power supply and drivers, 
heatsinks etc)

This makes practical limits of 500mm to 1M say

This would obviously be long enough to surreptitiously read your passport.... if 
it was open.

The safest thing you can do to protect yourself is to ensure it is closed. The 
inbuilt metal screen is sufficient to block any signals.


Geoffrey Ramadan, B.E.(Elec)
Chairman, Automatic Data Capture Australia (www.adca.com.au)
Managing Director, Unique Micro Design (www.umd.com.au)

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