NFC protocols could be causing mobile security problems

Mobile Security

Mobile Security

NFC technology itself may not be the problem

Mobile security has been a cause for concern for as long as mobile technology has existed. While some consumers and organizations have been more vocal with this concern than others, many agree that mobile security is beginning to become a dire issue. Hacking has recently become an idealized practice, with many hackers being likened to modern day Robin Hoods. NFC technology has become a prominent subject in the world of mobile security. Symantec, the world’s largest computer security corporation, has been keeping a close eye on NFC technology and has found that the technology itself may not be as faulty as the devices it is a part of.

Application abuses NFC protocols to attain valuable information

Symantec researchers have found a simple application available on the Google Play marketplace that had previously gone unnoticed in the mobile security world. The application was developed by a mobile security researcher from Germany, whose identification has been withheld. The application, called Ecardgrabber by Symantec, was meant to be a proof-of-concept project to show how frail common NFC protocols are for Android mobile devices. According to Symantec, the application succeeded in its task.

App records financial information as it is used

The application is meant to record and decipher the information used to make contactless payments through the use of NFC technology. When information is transmitted from a mobile device to a payment terminal, the application acquires this information and stores it. The information can then be accessed by the application’s creator at a later time. Symantec notes that the application came from a legitimate source, thus posing no real mobile security threat in and of itself. The concept, however, could have serious implications for the world of mobile security.

Mobile security continues to be a strong concern where NFC is involved

NFC technology has long been subjected to criticism regarding its potential security shortfalls. Symantec notes that it is, in fact, the NFC protocols used in mobile devices that are at fault. These protocols must be changed in order to avoid the malicious use of NFC technology from having a significant effect on consumers. In the meantime, Google has removed the Ecardgrabber application from its marketplace.

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