Efficient detection of counterfeit products in large-scale RFID systems using batch authentication protocols

Farzana Rahman, Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


RFID technology facilitates processing of product information, making it a promising technology for anti-counterfeiting. However, in large-scale RFID applications, such as supply chain, retail industry, pharmaceutical industry, total tag estimation and tag authentication are two major research issues. Though there are per-tag authentication protocols and probabilistic approaches for total tag estimation in RFID systems, the RFID authentication protocols are mainly per-tag-based where the reader authenticates one tag at each time. For a batch of tags, current RFID systems have to identify them and then authenticate each tag sequentially, one at a time. This increases the protocol execution time due to the large volume of authentication data. In this paper, we propose to detect counterfeit tags in large-scale system using efficient batch authentication protocol. We propose FSA-based protocol, FTest, to meet the requirements of prompt and reliable batch authentication in large-scale RFID applications. FTest can determine the validity of a batch of tags with minimal execution time which is a major goal of large-scale RFID systems. FTest can reduce protocol execution time by ensuring that the percentage of potential counterfeit products is under the user-defined threshold. The experimental result demonstrates that FTest performs significantly better than the existing counterfeit detection approaches, for example, existing authentication techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-188
Number of pages12
JournalPersonal and Ubiquitous Computing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-counterfeiting
  • Batch authentication
  • RFID
  • Security
  • Supply chain
  • Tree-based protocols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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