NFC Security issues: A case study Name: Institution: Introduction Near Field Communication technology is a form of technology that utilises the Smartphone technology in the enhancement of services such as contactless payments through pre-stored information in the credit cards…
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Particularly, this form of technology is quite popular in advanced nations such as Japan (Gordon & British Computer Society, 2007). However, according to various studies that have been conducted into the technology, especially in the UK by a team of researchers from Surrey University, an alarm is fast being raised about the security risks involved with the same, particularly with regard to the safety of private information of a client that is stored in it. This is because, the likely threats that arise are when the transmission for payments are made, which can be a few meters away from the payment terminal, may create a window of opportunity for someone to tap into the same and transmit that same private information to another phone for their own malicious use. In this paper, I seek to establish and discuss the various possible security risks associated with the use of NFC technology. This may include eavesdropping as slightly mentioned above, data or message corruption or modification, and interception or relay attacks. Another risk can be the physical theft of the Smart phones in order to gain access to the required passwords and credit card details. In order to ensure that trust in the continued use of this technology is maintained, there should be efficient means by which the breaches in the security can be prevented (Taylor & British Computer Society, 2008). a. Eavesdropping This form of security risk is one which occurs when there is an inappropriate listening of the NFC transactions by an unauthorised third party. Criminals who practice this form of activity engage in it with the intent of copying such transactions so as to capture the transcript images of the NFC passwords and other financial information contained in it that are related to the user’s credit cards. This form of a security breach is the most common today and happens in the manner that the criminal needs not pick on only one signal to be able to gather the required information but, collects all the available data at that particular point and scams through them until the sufficient matches are met. To be able to prevent this form of a security breach or risk on Near Form Communication (NFC) technology, there are two main methods that can be efficiently applied. The first solution is in line with the determination of the range of NFC transactions from the purchase terminal. Since the NFC data theft devices used by the criminals require close range to work in, it is essential that a short range transmission of the signals be adopted so that users have to get nearer to the terminal point to use NFC and not send the signals from a far off distance. If the signals are made to be close ranged, the criminals are denied the opportunity to tap into the channel as in order to do so, they will require moving closer to the terminal points, which implies risking arrests. However, in case of a more determined eavesdropper, the short signal range may not be deterrent to their malice; hence, the concerned NFC authorities need to adopt much safer means to shield users from such kind of data theft from eavesdropping. The second most efficient means by which this problem can be solved is through the use of secure channels when making NFC transactions. When the NFC users are capable of establishing secure channels for their transactions,
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