Near Field Communication Concerns

In Tokyo you can buy a soda from a vending machine by showing it your smart phone and entering your PIN number. Right now phone developers like Apple and Google are moving road blocks that lay in between them and becoming used as your next Visa “card”. This creates the 101st reason why you absolutely cannot ever loose your phone or put it down. Echoing the micro payments that you can all ready do with your iTunes account, the new feature will be credited with obsoleting the plastic credit card, and it’s financial system as well.

This year Apple will start making wireless e-payments possible in the upcoming iPhone 5 and the iPad 2. The most popular mobile devices by Apple and also Google’s Android platform phones, will include near-field communication (NFC) technology. That is what is going to connect the financial-transaction data to be transmitted. Apple may be playing a role in getting the new payment terminals set up for businesses.

Concerns begin with criminals who could steal the device and use it. Or by using an RFID reader they could potentially steal or transmit a victim’s credentials. Up to now that data can be intercepted from up to four inches away. There are devices that criminals can use to extend that range, while the security protections do require a PIN number and the “card number” itself may be randomized. More measures are being put in place, and the range of the devices are becoming more selective.

It has been reported that software security and code analysts discovered a large number of potential vulnerabilities in the Android source code. Not every hole is exploitable, but its reasonable to expect that it may be possible for an attacker to do something. One tactic could be to create malicious pages targeting Android phones that will hack them. 

Despite of the marketing from Master Card, Google, Apple, and even Nokia which will focus on convenience, and speed of transactions, there are still obvious tests to maintain privacy and security yet to be made.

GamingAngel moderator

I don't know if I would ever feel safe in putting that information on my phone.