Threat Modeling The Library
In a long interesting article in Wired on “The RFID Hacking Underground,” I came across this quote:
While it may be hard to imagine why someone other than a determined vandal would take the trouble to change library tags, there are other instances where the small hassle could be worth big bucks.
The article went on to describe how checking out books is automated. So, here’s
the an interesting attack:
- Discover which out of print books sell for a lot on Ebay. (I once paid $50 for a copy of Vernor Vinge’s True Names and Other Lies. It’s hard to buy gifts for some folks.)
- Discover which libraries have the book in question.
- Enter library, replace the ID in the tag with the ID of Harry Potter and the Discount Bin Paperback.
- Check out the book as normal.
- Return Harry Potter and the Discount Bin Paperback.
- Repeat indefinitely.
This is actually a variant of an attack which happens today.
Jerks People steal first editions, rare books, and expensive books from libraries all the time. The automation of the check out process means that they don’t even need to hide the book in a foil-lined bag.
(Image from Stock.Echng.)