NFC bugs allow phones to be hijacked

Security experts have discovered a number of bugs in NFC payment technology that allow hackers to take over a mobile phone, in many cases accessing all of its data.

At the Hewlett Packard-run Mobile Pwn2Own competition in Tokyo, a team of experts demonstrated how these vulnerabilities could be exploited in order to “subvert” a number of handsets, according to the BBC.

The event, in which developers and researches compete to hack mobile phones, gives out prizes totalling $425,000 to those that successfully break into the phones in under 30 minutes, using a previously undiscovered weak spot. This year, five teams managed to hack five different devices, three of which used NFC bugs and two, the built-in web browser.

The Apple iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy 5, LG Nexus 5 and Amazon Fire Phone were among those hacked. However, the Blackberry Z30 stood up to attack, and contestants only got as far as the cookie database in the Windows Phone.

All bugs have now been shared with the mobile phone companies so that they can be addressed.



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