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Security of NFC technology again called into question
NFC technology is being billed, by its supporters, as a revolution for the world of commerce. The technology enables a smart phone or similar device to function as a mobile payment platform akin to a credit card. NFC has received a great deal of support from financial institutions as well as technology and telecommunications companies all over the world. There are, however, some serious concerns regarding the safety of NFC technology, some of which have not yet been addressed because of the scarcity of NFC-enabled mobile devices.
Security problems take a back seat while companies work on commercializing products
NFC-enabled devices are currently rare, thus limiting the number of people that can participate in any commerce service based on the technology. As such, the security issues inherent in NFC technology and mobile commerce systems have not yet been fully explored or rectified. With mobile commerce becoming more prominent and more NFC-enabled devices finding their way to the commercial market, these issues stand to cause serious problems for organizations investing in the technology.
Security analysts create hack for NFC-devices
Recently, security analysts from the Intrepidus Group, a mobile security services firm, created an application for an NFC-enabled Android device. The application is very straightforward, as it is meant to do only one thing: Provide users with free subway and train rides. The application leverages the NFC chips being built into train tickets and transit cards. The application is capable of tricking the ticketing system into believing that a passenger has paid for a trip without them actually conducting a transaction. Security analysts have released the application, which is called UltraCardSet, to the public so that people can test to see if it works on their local transit network.
Hack presents serious problems for transit authorities
This presents a major problem for transportation organizations, such as New Jersey’s Path and San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency, as it could lead to serious financial losses. Both transit authorities have been informed of the problem, but it may not be as simple to fix as writing a line of new code. The problem may lie in the use of NFC technology itself, which is not inherently secure.
Filed under: Commercial, Featured News, Mobile Commerce, Mobile Commerce Security, Near Field Communications, Technology News, Trends, United States · Tags: financial institutions, intrepidus group, mobile commerce, mobile commerce security, mobile payments security, mobile security services, new jersey path, nfc hack, nfc technology, nfc technology security, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Security problems, transportation, tricking the ticketing system, ultracardset