#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
Australia passes data retention into law
Mammoth last-ditch effort by Greens, indies knocked back.
 
Turnbull introduces bill to block piracy websites
Takes ownership of legislation from Brandis.
 
ATO to kill off e-Tax
Veteran software to be replaced by more modern myTax.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Xero now includes an inventory function built-in
Mar 26, 2015
Xero has added inventory and other major new features to the latest release of its cloud ...
Apple reveals its new MacBook
Mar 13, 2015
Replacing the MacBook Air as Apple's thinnest laptop, the new MacBook comes packed with features.
Xero has released a new version of its app for the iPad
Mar 6, 2015
iPad-wielding Xero users can now take advantage of a new version of the iOS app for the cloud ...
Microsoft is offering Azure for Disaster Recovery to Australian SMBs
Feb 10, 2015
If you haven't talked to your IT provider about disaster recovery, it might be worth discussing ...
The 2015 Xero Roadshow is on: here are the locations and dates
Feb 6, 2015
The 2015 Xero Roadshow kicked off this week - see where you can attend at locations around ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Do you support the Government's data retention scheme?

   |   View results
Yes
  8%
 
No
  92%
TOTAL VOTES: 1341

Vote