What is NFC?
NFC is a short range communication
technology that allows communications
to take place between devices that
either touch or momentarily held close
to each other.
It is based on Radio Frequency
Identification (RFID) technology.
It works via magnetic field induction
technology and operates on an
unlicensed radio frequency band.
Two major specifications exist for NFC
– ISO/IEC 14443: It defines the ID cards used to
store information, such as that found in NFC tags.
– ISO/IEC 18000-3: It specifies the RFID
communication used by NFC devices.
Distance: 10 cm or less
Operates at rates ranging from 106kBit/s to
NFC builds upon RFID systems by allowing two-way
communication between endpoints, where earlier systems
such as contactless smart cards were one-way only.
It has been used in devices such as Google Nexus, powered
with Ice Cream Sandwich, named with a feature called
"Android Beam" which was first introduced in Google Nexus.
Android Beam uses NFC to enable Bluetooth on both devices,
instantly pair them, and disable Bluetooth once complete
automatically on both devices. This only works between
Android devices version Jelly Bean and above.
The advantage of using WiFi Direct over Bluetooth is that it
is much faster than Bluetooth, having a speed of 300Mbit/s
for sharing large files.
Since unpowered NFC "tags" can also be read by NFC devices,
it is also capable of replacing earlier one-way applications.
Uses in Commerce
NFC devices can be used in contactless payment
systems, similar to those currently used in credit cards
and electronic ticket smartcards, and allow mobile
payment to replace or supplement these systems.
For example, Google Wallet allows consumers to store credit card and
store loyalty card information in a virtual wallet and then use an
NFC-enabled device at terminals that also accept MasterCard PayPass
Germany, Austria, Finland, New Zealand, Italy, Iran and Turkey,
have trialed NFC ticketing systems for public transport. Vilnius fully
replaced paper tickets for public transportation with ISO/IEC 14443
Type A cards on July 1, 2013.
India is implementing NFC based transactions in box offices for
A partnership of Google and Equity Bank in Kenya has introduced
NFC payment systems for public transport in the Capital city Nairobi
under the branding "Beba Pay"
Uses in Wifi and BT
NFC offers a low-speed connection with extremely
simple setup, and can be used to bootstrap more
capable wireless connections.
For example, the Android Beam software uses NFC to
complete the steps of enabling, pairing and establishing
a Bluetooth connection when doing a file transfer.
Nokia, BlackBerry and Sony have used NFC technology
to pair Bluetooth headsets, media players, and
speakers with one tap in its NFC-enabled devices.
The same principle can be applied to the configuration
of Wi-Fi networks.
NFC can be used in social networking situations, such as sharing
contacts, photos, videos or files, and entering multiplayer mobile
games. In the field of social networking NFC is very useful to
exchange contacts and other files.
The NFC Forum promotes the potential for NFC-enabled devices to act
as electronic identity documents and keycards. As NFC has a short
range and supports encryption, it may be more suitable than earlier,
less private RFID systems.
Smartphones equipped with NFC can be paired with NFC Tags or
stickers which can be programmed by NFC apps to automate
tasks.These programs can allow for a change of phone settings, a text
to be created and sent, an app to be launched, or any number of
commands to be executed, limited only by the NFC app and other apps
on the smartphone. These applications are perhaps the most practical
current uses for NFC since it does not rely on a company or
manufacturer but can be utilized immediately by anyone anywhere
with an NFC-equipped smartphone and an NFC tag.
Wide Reach & Availability
Can be used in Various Situations
Very Easy to Use
Value Added Services
Compatible with existing RFID infrastructure
ISO 18000 – 3
Point to Point
Less than 0.2
~ 100 m
~ 50 m
Set up time
Less than 0.1 s
Less than 6 s
IEEE 802.15.1 IEEE 802.15.1
The RF signal for the wireless data transfer can be
picked up with antennas. The distance from which an
attacker is able to eavesdrop the RF signal depends on
numerous parameters, but is typically a small number
Also, eavesdropping is highly affected by the
communication mode. A passive device that doesn't
generate its own RF field is much harder to eavesdrop
on than an active device.
An attacker can typically eavesdrop within 10m and 1m
for active devices and passive devices, respectively. With
the use of a patch loop antenna it is possible to place a
receiver close to the target and disguise it. This is much
like ATM skimming in that it needs to be near the
location however in this case no contact with the device
It is easy to destroy data by using a jammer. There is no way currently
to prevent such an attack. However, if NFC devices check the RF field
while they are sending, it is possible to detect attacks.
It is much more difficult to modify data in such a way that it appears
to be valid to users. To modify transmitted data, an intruder has to
deal with the single bits of the RF signal. The feasibility of this attack,
(i.e., if it is possible to change the value of a bit from 0 to 1 or the
other way around), is amongst others subject to the strength of the
If data is transferred with the modified Miller coding and a
modulation of 100%, only certain bits can be modified. A modulation
ratio of 100% makes it possible to eliminate a pause of the RF signal,
but not to generate a pause where no pause has been. Thus, only a 1
that is followed by another 1 might be changed. Transmitting
Manchester-encoded data with a modulation ratio of 10% permits a
modification attack on all bits.
Lawfully opened access to a secure NFC function or
data is protected by time-out closing after a period of
inactivity. Attacks may happen despite provisions to
shut down access to NFC after the bearer has become
The known concepts described primarily do not address
the geometric distance of a fraudulent attacker using a
lost communication entity against lawful access from
the actual location of the registered bearer.
Additional features to cover such an attack scenario
dynamically shall make use of a second wireless
authentication factor that remains with the bearer in
case of the lost NFC communicator. Relevant
approaches are described as an electronic leash or its
equivalent, a wireless key.
– A NFC enabled vehicle can be unlocked and started just by
tapping the User’s NFC device onto the vehicle, thus
removing the need of keys. It can also be used to
communicate between the device and the vehicle and also
find the health of vehicle by using specific apps
– Smart keyless doors can be made by implementing NFC
technology into doors, where a single tap of the device onto
the door would unlock it eradicating the need of a key to