#BlackHat: Phones hijacked by malicious NFC tag

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Android, Nokia compromised.

View larger image View larger image View larger image

See all pictures here »

A malicious wireless  tag has been created that can crack an Android phone in seconds.

The tag exploits a vulnerability in near field communication (NFC), a wireless technology popular on Android phones that establishes communication between devices through physical contact.

Well-known Apple hacker and Accuvant researcher Charlie Miller wowed the crowed at Black Hat Las Vegas through a demo that involved infiltrating an Android phone by simply grazing it with a tag embedded with an NFC chip.

Black Hat 2012 coverage

Once the phone was tagged, the browser opened to a phony web page that gave Miller full access to the data on the device. 

The exploited Android vulnerability was already patched by Google, but  Miller also discovered a similar bug in Nokia N9 which runs on the MeeGo platform.

Miller told SC he decided to focus his latest research on the little researched NFC technology because exploiting it does not require user interaction.

"I'm always looking for something to pick on," he said.

Miller believes the lack of in the wild attacks against NFC may be because the technology still isn't prevalent.

"If you imagine a time when you're always paying with your phone, these [attacks] would be everywhere," he said. "Replacing NFC tags with malicious ones are totally realistic. It's the equivalent of ATM skimming."

There is a way to make the technology more secure, such as prompting a user to opt in to each exchange they make, but the solution would affect the convenience of NFC, Miller said.

"You would have to give up some of that convenience to make it more secure," he said.

This article originally appeared at scmagazineus.com

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition


 
 
 
Top Stories
Beyond ACORN: Cracking the infosec skills nut
[Blog post] Could the Government's cybercrime focus be a catalyst for change?
 
The iTnews Benchmark Awards
Meet the best of the best.
 
Telstra hands over copper, HFC in new $11bn NBN deal
Value of 2011 deal remains intact.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Xero prepares for key feature coming in 2015
Dec 19, 2014
Xero users will be able to track how their business is comparing to other Xero users.
More 4G from Optus in Darwin
Nov 21, 2014
Click to see where Optus has expanded coverage to the suburbs near Darwin.
Optus steps up regional 4G coverage
Nov 20, 2014
Once 700Mhz services are working, Optus claims regional users will have a "faster and more ...
This Huawei 4G phone costs $99
Nov 12, 2014
The $99 Huawei Ascend Y550, available through Vodafone, enters the budget market as one of the ...
4G smartphones: Microsoft's Lumia 830
Nov 7, 2014
Microsoft has announced its flagship Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 830 4G, will be available in ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  39%
 
Your insurance company
  3%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  8%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  7%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  2%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  20%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  14%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  6%
TOTAL VOTES: 1799

Vote
Do you support the abolition of the Office of the Information Commissioner?