A practical attack on the MIFARE Classic

  • Gans G
  • Hoepman J
  • 79


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


The MIFARE Classic is the most widely used contactless smart card in the market. Its design and implementation details are kept secret by its manufacturer. This paper studies the architecture of the card and the communication protocol between card and reader. Then it gives a practical, low-cost, attack that recovers secret information from the memory of the card. Due to a weakness in the pseudo-random generator, we are able to recover the keystream generated by the CRYPTO1 stream cipher. We exploit the malleability of the stream cipher to read all memory blocks of the first sector of the card. Moreover, we are able to read any sector of the memory of the card, provided that we know one memory block within this sector. Finally, and perhaps more damaging, the same holds for modifying memory blocks.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in


  • Gerhard De Koning Gans

  • JH Hoepman

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free