Smartphone Hacker Claims He Can Hijack Handsets Using NFC

Jul 26 2012

Smartphone hacker Charlie Miller was scheduled to present an attack today at the Black Hat USA 2012 security conference, demonstrating what he claims are security vulnerabilities in the NFC peer-to-peer and tag-reading features of Android phones, as well as on Nokia’s N9 device.

Miller, well-known in Apple developer circles for his successful attacks on the iPhone and other Apple devices, reportedly was to say at the conference that such NFC phones as the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S, both made by Samsung for Google, as well as the MeeGo-based N9, could be easily compromised through peer-to-peer and, in some cases, tag reading to force the phones to visit Web sites or download files.

For example, Miller told publication Ars Technica before his presentation that Android Beam, Google’s souped-up version of NFC’s peer-to-peer communication feature in its Android 4.0 operating system, could enable a hacker to induce a victim’s phone to visit a malicious Web site. He later said he could also get the phone to download malware. The vulnerabilities could eventually enable him to take control of the phone.

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