NFC relay attacks with Android mobile devices

NFC (Near Field Communication) refers to the set of standards for establishing a wireless point-to-point communication between two devices in close proximity, typically a few centimetres. Those standards cover different communication and data exchange protocols, based at the same time on other RFID standards as ISO/IEC 14443 or FeliCa.

More and more services use payment cards or contactless devices based on NFC technology; from public transport to car parks, fast teller machines in supermarkets, vending machines, etc. The main reason? The strong commitment of banks in this technology.

There are many types of NFC cards, security mechanisms and attacks to them. Relay attacks are a man-in-the-middle variant in which the attacker is able to retransmit a message from a sender to a remote receiver in real time, exploiting the assumption that communicating with an NFC card entails physical proximity. Unfortunately, the vast majority of cards do not have any counter measure to this attack vector, probably because the need for ad-hoc hardware made unrealistic a practical attack. However, with the advent of mobile devices carrying NFC chips, this scenario has changed radically.

This paper aims to study the NFC architecture in a mobile environment and develop an application that allows a relay attack with Android devices on NFC credit cards transactions.

[Extracted from; check full paper and video demo!]

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