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Since its debut, Near Field Communications (NFC) proponents have touted the security of the high tech payment system as an alternative to credit cards with their old-school magnetic stripes.
Those stripes, they insisted, were too easy to read and the cards too easy to lose or have stolen.
NFC, but contrast, would be safer, we were told. But at the recent Black Hat gathering of hackers, IT security pros and government agencies, NFC was used to break into several smartphones, giving onlookers an idea of the exploits that can succeed with the technology.
Accuvant Labs researcher Charlie Miller showed how he figured out a way to break into both the Google/Samsung Nexus S and Nokia N9 by means of the NFC capability in the gadgets.
Miller’s nine-month investigation of the technology showed it’s possible to set up NFC-based radio communication to share content with the smartphones and play tricks, like writing an exploit to crash phones, read files on the phone and more.
He used “fuzzing” techniques to hack the phones and plans to develop tool for the exploit that will help developers test their devices for the weakness.
For now, beware the problems and the phones that are vulnerable to it.
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