How NFC can leave our finances exposed

by Andrew Roach on April 25, 2013

It has become of the biggest selling points on many major smartphones as the use of NFC allows us to buy products with just a simple tap on the phone.

But a new investigation has shown that the technology could allow hackers and criminals to gain access to our financial details without us even realising it.

The most concerning issue about the flaws is that it only took criminals a matter of seconds to get access to credit card details through several payment apps.

This investigation comes as many major financial companies such as MasterCard and RBC launched specific apps to allow payments to be made directly from their apps.

One of the main problems that were found in CBC’s investigations is that the information could be accessed through any basic app.

In one instance, an app was able to read someone’s credit card info in just under 30 seconds which would barely give users time to react or even take notice of any third party accessing their financial info.

As NFC apps don’t require users to enter their PIN’s during a transaction, it opens up our account to the hackers especially as apps are able to read credit card numbers, expiry dates and the CVC code.

Despite these worrying concerns, many of the financial companies have stated that their apps are designed to withstand these hacks. In a interview with CBC, Visa described the protocols on their PayWave app by saying that “multiple layers of security and advanced fraud detection technologies that protect every Visa transaction have helped keep Visa’s global fraud rates near historic lows.”

Since the apps have been launched, none of the systems have experienced any breaches or seen customers have their details stolen by criminals or hackers.

On top of that, many app stores such as Google Play have maintained their defence of the apps listed on their service with any malicious software being deleted as it’s reported.

Even so, the news comes as a worrying concern for anyone who use NFC on a regular basis who may need to be slightly more rigorous next time when they decided to use their smartphones to pay for something in the shops.

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Written by: Andrew Roach www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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