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Phishing NFC Tags

At the RSA Conference 2012, McAfee’s Chief Technology Officer, Stuart McClure, and several of his colleagues, have demonstrated a whole range of different attacks on mobile devices. For example, they demonstrated an attack on an NFC (Near Field Communication)-enabled smartphone: the attacker simply attaches a modified NFC tag to a legitimate surface such as an advertising poster. For their live demo, the researchers used a Red Cross donations appeal such as those seen at bus stops in various cities across Europe.

The poster’s regular NFC tag took the browser to the Red Cross donations web site, where the donor’s details could be recorded. However, the modified secondary tag diverted the smartphone browser to a phishing site that pretended to be part of the Red Cross. McClure said that such attacks have already been observed in the wild.


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