NFC open to hackers, as TIM plans ticketing service

The Italian cell phone operator Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) has announced plans to develop an NFC-based contactless payments system that enables passengers to use their handsets to pay for journeys on public transport.

TIM has partnered with Gemalto--a leading SIM vendor, to supply applications that will be embedded into the SIM. The user will be able to purchase tickets from anywhere at anytime through their handset and validate their transport pass even when the mobile phone is off. Gemalto says the system will be the first of its kind in Italy but the vendor has worked on several similar projects in Europe.

However, a researcher from the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology has demonstrated methods whereby NFC-enabled handsets can be hacked. The two most interesting hacks, according to the researcher, involved replacing the NFC tag on a vending machine, and spoofing a URI in a Smart Poster to connect the user to somewhere other than they wished.

For more on this story:
- read The Register and Fin Extra

Related stories:
Nokia launches mobile wallet phone. Nokia NFC handset story
O2 launches mobile wallet trial. O2 story

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