Organisational Aspects and Anatomy of an Attack on NFC/HCE Mobile Payment Systems

Maurizio Cavallari, Luca Adami, Francesco Tornieri


Near Field Communication (NFC) and contactless applications are increasing at unprecedented rate and their value is being recognised by the financial industry (Ok et al., 2011). Attacks are also increasing and they can compromise the business value on NFC applications (Murdoch and Anderson, 2010, Trend Micro, 2015). The present paper analyse the anatomy of possible attacks, uncovering vulnerabilities and suggesting possible countermeasures. The value of the paper is found in the contribution to practical mitigation of risk in the mobile payment financial business, with respect to the technology side. Host Card Emulation (HCE) is a technology solution that permits the creation of a virtual representation of a smart card using only software components, effectively eliminating the need for Secure Element hardware in the device. NFC/HCE technologies has proved itself very vulnerable in a variety of aspects. The paper would go through specific vulnerabilities and vulnerable situation, like: a non-secure-device/cloud communication channel; access to data saved locally in wallet; reusability of token; use of fake POS; malware and fake application; specific vulnerabilities of “Tap & Pay”; device/cloud decoupling. Countermeasures that have been proved effective are offered to readers along with Organisational aspects to be taken into account.


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Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Cavallari M., Adami L. and Tornieri F. (2015). Organisational Aspects and Anatomy of an Attack on NFC/HCE Mobile Payment Systems . In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 2: WOSIS, (ICEIS 2015) ISBN 978-989-758-097-0, pages 685-700. DOI: 10.5220/0005477506850700

in Bibtex Style

author={Maurizio Cavallari and Luca Adami and Francesco Tornieri},
title={Organisational Aspects and Anatomy of an Attack on NFC/HCE Mobile Payment Systems},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 2: WOSIS, (ICEIS 2015)},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 2: WOSIS, (ICEIS 2015)
TI - Organisational Aspects and Anatomy of an Attack on NFC/HCE Mobile Payment Systems
SN - 978-989-758-097-0
AU - Cavallari M.
AU - Adami L.
AU - Tornieri F.
PY - 2015
SP - 685
EP - 700
DO - 10.5220/0005477506850700