Feel free to correct my below logic.

As far as I can tell, HF RFID tags (specifically I've tested MiFare Classic 1kb) have a 48-bit encryption key (default to 0xFFFFFFFFFFFF or something) to protect their contents. A quick Arduino RFID reader I connected together showed me that indeed the blank cards I had purchased could be read, but an old Marriott key could not be. And in the code on the Arduino it did indeed have a customizable key.

From the limited amount of docs I could find on UHF RFID technology, it seems they do not employ this key system and instead everything relies on the serial number so to speak? Is this correct? I can't seem to find much at all in the name of the specifications for these cards at all - they are relatively new and stupid expensive to buy anything related to them. Or, do they in fact use a security protocol to protect unauthorized readers from interfacing with them.

I understand that "UHF RFID" is quite vast, and so if there's a specific protocol or vendor that's more popular and has information available that would be useful. I will be looking at TransCore tags in particular however I have not determined whether they function with other UHF readers or not.

1 Answer 1


The most common standard used for UHF RFID is EPC Gen2v2 (or ISO 18000-6C), also known as RAIN RFID. With the latest 'v2' iteration, the standard also includes security features including encryption of communication that are comparable to what you find in HF RFID standards.

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