Step 4: How to kill your RFID chip

In this step I will describe a few ways to permanently disable or kill an RFID chip. Most products that you own that contain RFID tags belong to you, so you have the right to destroy them; however, tampering with a US passport is a federal offense. Luckily there are ways to kill an RFID tag without leaving any evidence, so as long as you are careful, it would be pretty hard to prove that you did anything illegal.

-The easiest way to kill an RFID, and be sure that it is dead, is to throw it in the microwave for 5 seconds. Doing this will literally melt the chip and antenna making it impossible for the chip to ever be read again. Unfortunately this method has a certain fire risk associated with it. Killing an RFID chip this way will also leave visible evidence that it has been tampered with, making it an unsuitable method for killing the RFID tag in passports. Doing this to a credit card will probably also screw with the magnetic strip on the back making it un-swipeable.

-The second, slightly more convert and less damaging, way to kill an RFID tag is by piercing the chip with a knife or other sharp object. This can only be done if you know exactly where the chip is located within the tag. This method also leaves visible evidence of intentional damage done to the chip, so it is unsuitable for passports.

-The third method is cutting the antenna very close to the chip. By doing this the chip will have no way of receiving electricity, or transmitting its signal back to the reader. This technique also leaves minimal signs of damage, so it would probably not be a good idea to use this on a passport.

-The last (and most covert) method for destroying a RFID tag is to hit it with a hammer. Just pick up any ordinary hammer and give the chip a few swift hard whacks. This will destroy the chip, and leave no evidence that the tag has been tampered with. This method is suitable for destroying the tags in passports, because there will be no proof that you intentionally destroyed the chip.
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Lynnwa2 years ago
I DO NOT recommend putting your passport in the microwave to destroy the chip. I caught my husband's passport on fire. Try explaining *that* to embassy officials. I do however have a hammer, haven't tried that yet. I also have a tazer ...
waterlubber3 years ago
How about this super easy method:
You will needs:
Lets see...
The electromagnet generates a magnetic field that become induced (like a transformer) into the RFID chip, frying it. Yum! Fried RFID...
that would also kill the magnetic strip on the credit card.
Wrap the strip in tinfoil.
ecabrales2 years ago
Best way to kill the chip is to use a very small drill bit to make a hole that doesn't go completely through, but enough to sever the antenna so it will not transmit.
or use a soldering iron to melt through the card, or very gradually until you reach about half way through the card.

2dMaxf6 years ago
How would you kill a rfid chip that is injected under the skin? They put these in crazies and people with Alzheimers desease. Got any idea? Magnets maybe?
wupme 2dMaxf5 years ago
You might want to take a look into the RFID Zipper of the CCC (Chaos Computer Club Germany)

Its the only way (besides the hammer method) that leaves no trace that you destroyed the chip.
The Microwave is bad idea, it can happen that the place where the chip looks slightly burned.
Chrome is yappin about how this is an untrusted sure 'bout this?
pro2xy wupme4 years ago
Lol... Gotcha boss! We were planning to put the guy in the micro... May we experiment on ya??? :P
If we ever sleepwalk into a compulsory injected microchip society, the answer to this would be to cut the skin and pop the capsule back out as soon as you get home from the "Citizen's Implant Centre". Then you can tape it onto the outside of your arm, and remove it when you choose to.
I can't wait!
kgee 2dMaxf3 years ago
can't you use a small controlled emp?

or can't you use a RFID writer? i seen somethig on this site a while agot about that.
I think I would hit them with the hammer method. The micro wave would be to cruel. Its a good question and would like to know myself.
-max- fryrocket3 years ago
yea. just wac a hobo with a hammer!!!
Any device to overload the chip is a bad idea. You could get burned. Use a sterilized very sharp knife, preferably wielded by a doctor. Intramuscular would definitely require a procedure from a doctor or Vet. Aliens put one in me and I cut it out! J.K. Then microwave that sucker and watch the sparks fly!
go have an injection/ blood drawn from there, in the hope the needle pierces the tag at a mental hospital? get sedated there...
 using a tazer close to where the chip is implanted should fry it, itd hurt like hell though.
G MAN 2dMaxf6 years ago
I too would like that info. I don't think magnets will? I have a dog with one. I really don't want to cut it out. there must be some way.
andysuth G MAN6 years ago
Is it your dog? Do you know the location of the chip? I could tell you how to find it, but would fear for the dog! Why not take the dog to your local vets and ask the ID chip be removed? Personally, I'd keep it in there, just in case the dog runs off (quite common around 5th november), it's easier to find, people like RSPCA will scan the dog to see if they know it's owner/vet and return via that information. -AS
What if I had a eye2chip2computer2satelite. How do I disable it without hurting my eye.
vvgsh3 years ago
I'll try to break my passport with a hammer!
Photo become unreadable...((
techno guy3 years ago
Wouldn't hitting it with a hammer possibly smash the item containing the chip therefore leaving evidence?
I one dog has had her chip now for about 6 years, and she has yet to develop any problems with it. I just recently chipped my 4 year old pit bull / lab, and she didn't even squirm or yelp when it was put in. I mentioned the cancer from having a chip to the vet and he said that is the most ridiculous thing he has ever heard. I trust that it will do nothing to her except find her should she get loose.

On the other hand, I will never agree to have one implanted into me. I refuse to be tracked 24/7.

1. Wrap your items containing transponder chips in foil.
2. Patent an adhesive-backed foil skin patch to place over the sub-dermal transponder as a Faraday shield, get rich.
3. Instructable readers will claim the foil patch causes cancer.
4. Eek.
wiretapped3 years ago
RFID Chips can be read with 900MHz, 2.4MHz and more. They are programmable and function because they reside in a living body. Our bodies have enough conductivity to keep them active, even if they are so called "Passive".

Cancer - Tumors - yeah. Think about your tissue being heated up around these little chips. The heating alone is abnormal and can cause tumors and why not cancer. After all if you don't remove a tumor it can turn cancerous - No?

For REAL LIFE information you can see for yourself
viligeidiot4 years ago
Hi there... just wanted to put 2 cents in as far as the 'cancer' argument goes. Putting a foreign object into the body that is NOT made of inert surgical steel, may OR may not cause the body to attack it. When the body DOES attack it, the result is usually a 'growth' around the object to either eat it or expel it.
Now onto cancer... cancer is an abnormal cell division with unchecked growth that adversely affects health. I'm not saying these chips will cause cancer, but if you stuff something into your body with the POTENTIAL to cause adverse immune reactions, don't be surprised if some people end up with it.
One reason they are being used on pets is to show a large test group and promote safety of the devices..... one thing NOT mentioned, is that the lifespan of the pets is not very condusive to potentially developing cancer as some cancers take decades to develop..... so if you chip your kids lets say... it might take 40-50 YEARS to develop and by that time I'll bet they say it could be 'anything' other than the chip unless its one giant tumor with the chip in the center.
Last comment... some peoples immune systems are far more sensitive than others and no one can definitively predict when one or an others is going to go haywire over these things without more research.
ceraman4 years ago
I think a solenoid connected to an AC power supply that make a huge magnetic field can do it. however the frequency, voltage and current of power supply and also the solenoid factors is significant.
Saturn V4 years ago
Ya can't touch this! Da na na na-na na- na na, can't touch this! Sorry, I absolutly couldn't resist.
ampeyro4 years ago
another plausible way to destroy it ts using something like a coilgun (a coil connected to a big capacitor and a hv transformer), the micro EMP produced arround it must fry the circuit, but i'm not sure of it
 some RFID chips which are used in shops to tag products can be deactivated with a strong magnet.   Also wondering if freezing the RFID in your passport would wipe the data from the chip as i was talking to a guy who used to put car radios into the freezer to wipe the memory then reset the code back to the factory default, this way would show no signs of tampering if you wrapped the passport in a bag before you freeze it, dont wanna try it out on mine as i need it would like to hear from someone who can try it though.
hellstudios5 years ago
huh.........I remember one of these things being on the back of my original Sims computer game case..... can they be used for anti theft?
XxcarbonxX6 years ago
Would an electromagnetic pulse(emp) disable a RFID chip?
I wonder if an old hand held cassette tape eraser would end the little beasties life? You remeber the type? Little square box, plugs into the wall with on off switch, just a strong electromagnet. It will kill a computer hard-drive spinning or not through its case.
I believe a few German guys developed a DIY RFID-zapper out of a single use film camera. For details:
3ricj ourari6 years ago
If you know those guys, I'd love to get in touch with them - - we've tried to reproduce their findings here at hackerbotlabs, and have found that most tags are highly resistant to these sorts of energy levels.
Yendeg6 years ago
To think, that in the 70's they were used only to stop shoplifters.
membrane6 years ago
I prefer to use the old photo flash and coil of wire method to kill the things as it dos not destroy the item the tag is on or inside of like the other methods. You also can just cut the foil traces to the antenna or burn a hole into the chip with a small diode laser. Though in theory one could make a device that could kill tags over a wide range since they are much more sensitive to HERF pulses then most other electronic items since they are powered by RF.
PolarBill6 years ago
putting credit cards in a microwave has not destroyed any of the cards i've done myself or with my friends cards (with their consent). depending on the strength of the microwave, they make a ZAP and have a little flash of light within about 2 seconds. at which point you can stop the microwave. one of the cards left a light smoke mark that was able to be cleaned off easily, the other 4 i've done didn't have any signs of damage besides a slight burning smell for a few hours. does anyone know where the RFID chip is in passports? as this instructable said, i'd rather not take the chance of nuking my passport, but i wouldn't mind hammering it assuming i knew its location
UK passports have clearly visible chips in them. I don't see them as a particular hassle. I just wish they'd improve the photos a bit (or is that just mine!!!!)
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