Hackers exploit NFC phone payment technology

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NFC allows people to pay for goods and services by touching their handset to a payment terminal. But the inclusion of the technology on phones has proved useful to hackers seeking a stealthy way to take over a mobile phone. In most cases the bugs would give an attacker complete access to a device’s data.

The security experts demonstrated the weaknesses in NFC technology at an event in Tokyo organised by Hewlett Packard. Called Mobile Pwn2Own the competition involves researchers and developers using bugs in an attempt to subvert a series of handsets.

Hackers exploit NFC

A prize pool of $425,000 (£271,000) was available to those who managed to get access to a handset’s innards via a bug they had found. Entrants would get a slice of that cash by taking less than 30 minutes to carry out a successful attack via a previously unknown vulnerability.

Eight separate devices, including an Apple iPhone, Blackberry Z30, Amazon Fire phone and Google Nexus 7, were the targets for the security experts.