New application poses serious security risk for the mobile commerce sector
In a world where mobile devices are used for just about everything, security is no laughing matter. Mobile security is quickly becoming one of the most prominent concerns among those with smartphones and tablets, especially for those that participate in mobile commerce. As mobile commerce continues to grow, so too do the threats that are designed to steal and exploit a consumer’s financial information. A new malicious mobile application was recently discovered that aims to do just that.
App uses NFC technology to steal financial information
The application in question has been identified as one that specifically targets the financial information stored on a mobile device, leveraging NFC technology as the way to gain access to this information. NFC technology is one of the pillars of the mobile commerce world. The technology allows for data to be transmitted over short distances, thereby enabling mobile transactions. While NFC has been considered a boon for the mobile commerce sector, it has also been lauded as one of the best tools available to electronic thieves.
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Information can be stolen in less than 30 seconds
The application makes use of NFC technology to access a consumer’s financial information with the thieve using the application required only to have their device relatively close to their target. In less than five minutes, the application is capable of acquiring the information that it seeks out. If a mobile device does not have adequate protection, however, this can be accomplished in less than 30 seconds. This information can then be exploited in numerous ways, putting a consumer at significant financial risk.
Low availability of NFC-enabled devices may be a good thing
Though the application represents a serious threat in the mobile commerce space, its impact may be somewhat limited. There are only a few mobile devices that make use of NFC technology currently available on the market. The application cannot affect mobile devices that are not equipped with this technology. Moreover, credit cards that make use of NFC technology are not susceptible to the malicious nature of the application.