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NFC tag fun and dangers, like turning someone into a mobile Spammer

posted Oct 18, 2013, 12:12 PM by Leigh Williams
I recently bought a set of NFC tags, and while fun, they can also be rather dangerous. Several app exist to "program" them (its just a bunch of actions that get loaded onto the tag and executed when your phone taps the tag).

Fortunately I found that my phone's screen has to be unlocked and on for NFC to work so that my phone doesn't scan NFC tags that might be hiding in my bag. But, bad implementations could mean that your NFC will work even though the phone is switched off.

It got me thinking: Strategically placing tags at, for example, an ATM, against fast food counters etc can allow you enable someones WiFi hotspot (with no security) giving you a bit of free internet and ramping up their data charges. You can also start the victim's voice recorder or send emails from the victim's phone, essentially turning them into a mobile Spammer.

Of course, one should not do things like this for malicious intent and make sure your NFC is switched off when not in use!