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NFC Hack Surpasses Android and MeeGo Security

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Android Meego NFC hackGLOBAL – A hacker was able to find security backdoors via NFC (Near Field Communications) on Android and Meego smartphones.

The capabilities of NFC are slowly making their way in mainstream smartphones owing to the various uses of this new technology. Being the latest communication option, it is expected that NFC will be more secure than other communication features of a phone, but the case seems a bit different. As NFC  has an extremely short range it seems that Google’s Android and Nokia’s MeeGo do not offer sufficient security of the platform.

Smartphone hacker Charlie Miller was able to surpass the defences on three advanced devices – the Nexus S running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the MeeGo-powered Nokia N9.

On all of the phones, he was able to find a security backdoor in the NFC communications. The prerequisites for accessing the phones include switched-on NFC and the phones to be unlocked at the moment of the attack, but owing to the nature of NFC, if an attacker is able to place an NFC reading device close to a legitimate NFC terminal, it is very likely to be able to hijack vital data and to force the attacked phone to visit certain sites and even to establish longer range connection like Bluetooth.

Nokia commented that it is investigating the issue, while Google hasn’t responded at the time of publication.

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By , International Correspondent, Rethymno (Greece) office

Published on Jul 30th, 2012 GMT +2


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