Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
Network Security
24/7/365 Network Uptime
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Does Near Field Communication Have the Magic Touch?
Does Near Field Communication Have the Magic Touch?

By Ira Brodsky
November 6, 2012 8:33AM

    Bookmark and Share
There's not much of a future for plastic credit cards in a smartphone world. Embossed credit card numbers can be read and copied by anyone. In contrast, near field communications or NFC account numbers, expiration dates, and security codes are hidden from bystanders and even sales clerks, making NFC a far safer choice.
 



Proponents say that near field communication (NFC) technology will change the world. With a simple tap of your mobile phone you'll be able to pay for things, download information from posters, and open doors.

Many tech pundits, however, are skeptical about NFC. Some say there are better ways to do the same things. Others think NFC has a critical mass problem: Retailers won't invest in NFC infrastructure until everyone has NFC handsets, and manufacturers won't make NFC a standard feature on handsets until NFC infrastructure becomes ubiquitous.

The skeptics are mistaken. Retail businesses will flock to NFC once they see that it speeds checkout and creates new opportunities for interacting with customers. Consumers will warm to NFC when they discover that its tap-and-go operation is simple, convenient, and puts them in control.

New technologies don't succeed just because they promise unique capabilities or superior performance. The first customers must contend with high prices, a steep learning curve, and market inertia. But new technologies do succeed provided that they deliver qualitative advantages. NFC passes this test.

A Game Changer

NFC is a wireless security game-changer. NFC is as close to a cable connection as you can get with wireless. Though NFC operates at radio frequencies it communicates via the near field effect (also known as magnetic induction). Put another way, NFC antennas are designed to suppress the radio signal, leaving just the near field signal. If NFC's short range were merely due to the use of low power transmitters, then it could still be hacked from further away using sophisticated equipment. However, NFC's range is only 4 -- 20 centimeters because near field signals die out quickly as you move away from the antenna.

Ironically, NFC's exceptional physical layer security gives device manufacturers the confidence to make its default setting "on." As security specialist Charlie Miller demonstrated at a recent Black Hat conference, a hacker could surreptitiously connect to an NFC phone while brushing past its owner. What this means in practice is that a hacker has a better chance of tricking an NFC phone into visiting a malicious Web site when the user isn't looking than intercepting an NFC payment. However, such attacks can be thwarted by quarantining data until approved by the user, adding a button that must be depressed when using NFC, or doing a better job detecting software exploits.

NFC's superior physical layer security can be leveraged to securely "pair" Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct devices. This is a critical application because once two devices have been paired they will automatically connect whenever they come within range of each other. If the pairing is performed exclusively via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, then a rogue device impersonating one of the devices could hijack the process. Adding NFC makes "man-in-the-middle" attacks much harder to pull off because the pairing is done in a different part of the radio spectrum using a much shorter range wireless technology. (continued...)

1  |  2  |  3  |  Next Page >

 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Anonymous:

Posted: 2012-12-01 @ 1:58pm PT
There is also a technology on the market now that is used for mobile authentication and is compatible with IOS, which is something that NFC is severely lacking right now. It also can be done for a fraction of the cost. Check out www.snowshoestamp.com for more information.



Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, information services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.


 Network Security
1.   Chinese Hackers Hit U.S. Officials
2.   Russian Hacker's Charges Revealed
3.   Another IE-Focused Patch Tuesday
4.   Russian Arrested in Hacking Case
5.   Most Networks Not Ready for IoT


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Report: Chinese Hackers Hit U.S. Personnel Networks
Hackers from China broke into the computer networks of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management earlier this year with the intention of accessing the files of tens of thousands of federal employees.
 
Charges: Russian Stole Data from U.S. Restaurants, Zoo
A Russian man arrested on bank fraud and other charges hacked into computers at restaurants in Washington, hundreds of other retail businesses, and even the Phoenix Zoo, authorities say.
 
Another Month, Another IE-Focused Patch Tuesday
Microsoft rolled out 59 vulnerabilities for Internet Explorer in June. But the IE-patching party is not over yet. Redmond published six new security bulletins on Tuesday; two, critical; three, important.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.