I love it when I can steal two different titles from my money site like that. I have written a few articles about Near Field Communication (NFC) and Is It Safe. I am happy just with the title of this post about Near Field Communication.
First, let us point to where you can read more about Near Field Communication and its implementation in the financial world. Your phone allows you to “tap” to pay for lower-cost things like you do with some of your chip credit cards (an oversimplified explanation, but practical). It allegedly is only for short-range, but I am of the “tin foil hat crowd” who believe range can be extended easily (i.e. I don’t trust the statement someone needs to be near you to try to hack your phone).
What Near Field Communication Attacks are Possible?
What might the bad guys be trying to do? Luckily the NFC folks are kind enough to outline the attacks possible:
- Eavesdropping attempts to figure out what is being said between systems, but in theory, the data transfer is encrypted.
- Corruption of the transaction or communication is just a pain in the arse. The secure channel should prevent that.
- Interception or man-in-the-middle attacks, where something in between you and the endpoint attempts to have info transit through it and steal data (or better still, alter the information as it passes through). This would happen at the near-field communication payment terminal
- Theft of the end device (i.e. your phone), and the only way to make that safe is the end user being safe with their phone, putting a password on it, and having the ability to wipe the system if it is stolen.
Is your phone “secure” the big question? We shall see where this all might lead. You may want to buy an NFC safe wallet? Does nfc work? Yes, but best be careful. Even with Apple Pay you need to be careful.
An interesting video from TMT about this subject and whether it will be highly adopted soon:
What is near field communication?
Your phone or card allows you to “tap” to pay for lower-cost things like you do with some of your chip credit cards (an oversimplified explanation, but practical)
What is an example of near field communication?
Apple pay is a very good example of NFC.
Where is near field communication used?
In many different point-of-sale terminals.
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