Monday, June 24, 2024

Implantable Chips: Storing Data Inside Body – Part 2

EFY Tested DIY

In the previous tutorial, we covered the implantable chip-based data tracking system for animals. Continuing our design series, we now progress to designing a device that allows us to store sensitive data/passwords inside the body.

This involves storing data within a tiny chip, and we will outline the process of implantation so that individuals can safeguard the sensitive information within their bodies, ensuring that only they can access it.

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Note: The above article is created solely for educational purposes, ensuring no harm is done to animals or humans in any experiments. Implanting chips inside the body may pose health risks, so we recommend using this information for learning purposes only. Keep chips away from children below 18 years old. For any actual in-body implants, consult with doctors and experts.

Implantable chips have become a popular choice for individuals who want to secure data that they do not wish to share or risk being lost or leaked.

Today, we will guide you on how to design a chip that can store essential credentials or data inside the body in the form of an implantable chip.

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All the materials needed in the project are listed in the bill of materials table below:

Bill of Material

ComponentsQuantity Description
Implantable RFID Capsule 113.56 MHz  read and write RFID cap
13.56 MHz  RFID Reader/Writer 1125Hz Serial RFID Reader 
Raspberry PI Zero / 4(Optional)1SBC 

There are two processes for implanting chips inside the body:

One involves implanting a chip that acts as an authentication system, unlocking data stored in digital formats either in the cloud or on a laptop. The data can only be accessed when scanning the implanted chip.

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The second method involves implanting a chip with a small memory where the written data is stored in the chip itself and can be read and accessed when the person scans it. We will discuss both methods.

First Method

Implantable chip with data inside: This is the most secure way, as important data always resides in your body within the implanted chip, out of reach for the rest of the world. In this process, we use an implantable chip that is both readable and writable. There are a few chips available in the market that offer writable implantable capabilities, and they are listed below.

xEM RFID Implant:

This is an RFID implant designed by Dangerous Things. It uses a 13.56 MHz RFID chip and has both read and write capabilities. It’s often used for access control, such as opening doors or starting a car. Check more details about the xEM RFID Chip.

xCARD RFID Implant:

Also developed by Dangerous Things, the xCARD is a 13.56 MHz RFID implant that can be used for a variety of applications, including storing and retrieving data.

NFC (Near Field Communication) Implants:

NFC technology is closely related to RFID and operates at 13.56 MHz. While not exactly RFID, NFC implants can serve similar purposes. They can store data and be read and written to. Some companies offer NFC implants for applications like access control and data storage.

Biohacking Implants:

Various biohacking communities and companies are exploring implantable RFID and NFC devices. These implants may have customizable features, including data storage capabilities.

You can choose and use any of the above and get your data written inside the chip.

In the first process, we simply encode the data onto the chip, and a compatible scanner connected to the USB port of a Raspberry Pi or laptop is utilized to read the data stored within the implanted chip.

Second Method

In the second method, the chip contains a password in the form of a UUID (Universally Unique Identifier), and the data stored in the cloud or on a laptop can be accessed by scanning the chip.

The implantable chip on the right side of the image below can both write and read data. It features:

  • Operating frequency: 13.56MHz ISO14443A & NFC Type 2 chip
  • Form factor: 2x15mm cylindrical sterile bioglass implant
  • User-writable memory: 1kB (888 bytes)
  • Integrated power harvesting LED indicator
  • Capability to both write and rewrite data

The LED indicator lights up when the chip is scanned, providing a visual confirmation of the scanning process.

Implantable Chips
Fig. 1: Implantable Chips
Implanting RFID Chip Inside Fruit
Fig. 2: Implanting Chip Inside Fruit

To implement the second process, we’ll first create code that encrypts actual data, making it unreadable to anyone who might gain access to the encrypted form. The data can only be unlocked and made readable using the chip implanted inside a person’s body. When the chip is scanned, it decrypts the data and displays it.

Note: This project is for educational purposes, demonstrating how to build such a system. In an actual deployment, it would require more security certifications and more complex coding.

We will use the same RFID and scanner setup developed in the previous edition of the series, with modifications and new software for this process.

Alternatively, you can choose a different implantable with writable memory, like the ones mentioned in the previous list of writable implantable chips with memory.

You can then write your custom password and data to the chip based on your preferences.

First, install the cryptography library by running the following command in the terminal:

pip3 install cryptography

Now, let’s create the code to save secret messages and files and encrypt that data using the cryptography library. Input the secret message, text, and data you want to encrypt and run the code.

It will save the data and secret messages in encrypted format.

Implantable Chip Encryption Code
Fig 3. Code snippet for encrypting the data 

Now we make the code that scans the implanted chips and then checks if it is the correct implanted chip UUID and then decrypts the data and message file and shows it to us.

Here in this part of the code, if you are using the previous RFID implantable chip (Refer EFY issue DEC 2023) then you can use the RDM python library, otherwise, you can use the serial library to change the serial port name and baud rate in code to read chips scanned data. 

Implantable Chip Decryption Code
Fig 4. Code snippet for decrypting the data

Encryption and Decryption

To test the encryption and decryption process, follow these steps:

Implanting RFID Chip inside Human Body
Fig. 5: Implanting RFID Chip inside the Human Body
  1. Encryption:
    • Open the encrypt.py script.
    • Edit the secret_message and data_to_encrypt variables with the message and text you want to encrypt.
    • Run the script (python encrypt.py), which will generate encrypted files (encrypted_secret_message.txt and encrypted_data.txt).
  2. Decryption:
    • Open the decrypt.py script.
    • Set the correct serial port (serial_port) and baud rate (baudrate) in the script for your RFID chip scanner.
    • Run the script (python decrypt.py).
    • The script will prompt you to scan the RFID chip. When you do, it will read the chip data, assuming it contains the encrypted data.
    • The decrypted data will then be displayed, allowing you to verify if the decryption is successful.
Fig. 6: Data Encryption
Fig. 7: Data Decryption

Ensure that the RFID chip you are using contains the correct encrypted data, and make sure that the serial port and baudrate in the decrypt.py script matches your RFID chip scanner’s configuration.

This testing process will help confirm the functionality of the encryption and decryption system.

Ashwini Sinha
Ashwini Sinha
A tech journalist at EFY, with hands-on expertise in electronics DIY. He has an extraordinary passion for AI, IoT, and electronics. Holder of two design records and two times winner of US-China Makers Award.

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