Hackers Exploit Touch Payment Tech

Security experts have found several bugs in Near Field Communication Systems (NFC).

NFC allows people to pay for goods and services by touching their handset to a payment terminal; however, the inclusion of the technology has proved useful to hackers seeking a way to take over mobile phones.

Security experts demonstrated the weaknesses in NFC technology at an event in Tokyo.

The event involved a competition where researchers and developers used bugs in an attempt to subvert a series of handsets.

A prize pool of £271,000 was available to those who managed to gain access to a handset via a bug they had found.

Entrants all received cash by taking less than 30 minutes to carry out a successful attack via a previously unknown vulnerability.

There were eight separate devices used as targets for the security experts, including an Apple iPhone, Blackberry Z30, Amazon Fire Phone and Google Nexus 7.

One the first day of the competition, five teams successfully used the bugs they had found to take over five devices.

Among the winners were UK security expert Adam Laurie, Japan's team MBSD and South Africa's MWR Info Security.

The Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy 5, LG Nexus 5 and Amazon Fire phone were all successfully compromised.

Details of all the vulnerabilities have been shared with the handset makers so that bugs can be patched and fixed.

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