NFC Operating Modes and
By Rajeev Verma and Alessandro Sarra
Essentials of each mode
Introduction to NFC
● Communication technology which works on physical
touch (4-10cm) of the devices.
Open and standard based
Induction coupling is the technology behind the data
transfer in NFC communication.
Power received by receiver:
C is coupling coefficient which decides the effectiveness
NDEF : Record
MB - msg begin
ME - msg end
CF - Chunk Flag
○ CF = 0 No chunk.
SR - Short Record
○ SR=0 : Single octet msg.
○ Max 255 octets
IL - Identification length
○ IL = 0 : ID Length omitted from
Type Length : Define length of Type
NDEF : TNF
● → structure of type
● → 3 bits field
● Type field finally have
the type for message.
NFC Modes : Peer-to-Peer
● 2 Devices
● Direct Communication
● Share Bluetooth or WiFi
● Send photos or small text
NFC Modes: Peer-to-Peer
● Communication Architecture
Peer-to-Peer mode essentials
● Protocol Stack
● LLCP Protocol Services
○ Connectionless transport
○ Connection oriented transport
○ Link related Services
○ Asynchronous Balanced communication
○ Protocol Multiplexing
OSI vs LLCP
Security Aspects in NFC
NDEF and Signature Recognition
Weaknesses of Digital Signing
● Even though Range is small in NFC, still signals are
retrievable from 1mt to 10mt.
● Using a secure channel can be a solution for NFC data
● Attacker can attempt to disrupt communications by
forcefully sending seemingly valid data.
● Channel can be blocked for ongoing data transmission
● Device can report the higher power used for
communication which is possibly the corrupted Data.
● Data can be maliciously altered in the communication
path keeping the data format same.
● 100% modulation and Miller encoding can prevent Data
● Data transfer at 106 baud rate is least susceptible for
modification but eavesdropping probability can be
Man in the middle
● Communication between two parties can is interrupted
● Potentially possible when two mobile devices are
actively communicating in peer-to-peer mode.
● Communication in other modes are immune to this
● Attacks are possible during access to a secure NFC
function or data is given prior to it timing out after a
period of inactivity.
● Wireless authentication factor known as an electronic
● Devices are leashed till the device goes out of the
● Similar to Man in Middle attack, adversary has to
forward the request of the reader to the victim.
● Attacker potentially has access any service directly
related to the data being sent.
● If the NFC device is lost, it will open access to anyone
who finds it and can pass authenticity checks.
● Extended security concepts do exist at the application
level that provide theft protection and tracking.
NDEF and Signature Recognition
● Digital Signature Records can provide encryption
through use of public-key cryptography.
● Digital Signature Records, when coupled with the NFC
Data Exchange Format, can serve as a feasible means
→ There is a unique signer.
Unforgettable → Only the signature owner may
create a key.
Non-reusable: → The signature is bound the signed
● Digital Signing is still a weakness for NFC
● Digital signing can resolve the problem of device
authentication and reliable event triggering.
● Interactive data
● NFC Tag Everything!!!
○ Tag doubles as bar-code
● Mobile Device Transactions
● Organization and Awareness
● Wireless charging
● Dock for
● 1 Watt Max
● Energy Saving
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