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Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has been widely used in ubiquitous infrastructures. On the other hand, the low-cost RFID system has potential risks such as privacy and security problems, which would be a big barrier for the application. First of all, we analyze the current security protocols for the RFID system. To protect user privacy and remove security vulnerabilities, we propose a robust and privacy preserving mutual authentication protocol that is suitable for the low-cost RFID environment. Finally, the correctness of the proposed authentication protocol is proved by the BAN logic.