Posts Tagged ‘NFC’
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
Near field communications is likely to become much more prominent in the near future. The number of NFC-enabled devices in use will exceed 500 million in 2014, according to a new report.
ABI Research’s “NFC Devices, Strategies, and Form Factors” calculated that a minimum of 285 million mobile and consumer electronics devices will ship in 2013 as OEMs continue to drive the market for NFC as mobile operators struggle to gain control and bring their services to market.
Mobile manufacturers moved ahead with NFC in 2012 whilst MNOs were still largely focused on payments, where they have struggled to deliver tangible services. This has allowed predominantly Android OEMs to seize the initiative as they have delivered new services and features for connecting devices, sharing data and content, picking up information, and utilizing tags.
“NFC has reached the point of no return,” commented John Devlin, practice director. “It all hinged on handsets; and next year we will see half-a-billion devices in the hands of consumers as it becomes more widely integrated. Up until this point banks and other service partners were holding back from committing to MNOs and it has always surprised me that they did not drive this forward themselves and invest to take charge of this market’s potential.”
Brands taking different paths toward NFC
Companies such as Blackberry and Samsung have developed and implemented clear strategies around NFC. They are differentiating themselves as they look to generate new service-based revenue streams utilizing NFC. Other brands, such as LG and Sony, are taking a different path as they horizontally integrate NFC across their broad product portfolios.
“Put simply the OEMs have innovated and made use of the simple abilities that NFC offers to increase interaction of people, devices, and their immediate environment. This is not just in mobile; tablets, PCs and peripherals, speaker docks, televisions, cameras, gaming and domestic appliances are all increasingly incorporating NFC,” Devlin added.
These findings are part of ABI Research’s NFC Research Service (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/service/nfc/).
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
The Mobile Security: McAfee Consumer Trends Report, says cyber criminals are growing increasingly sophisticated in mounting their digital attacks.
The report identifies a new wave of techniques hackers use to steal digital identities, commit financial fraud, and invade users’ privacy on mobile devices.
Mobile platforms have become increasingly attractive to cybercriminals as consumers live more of their digital lives on smartphones and tablets.
Mobile attracting mischief
According to IDC, mobile devices are surpassing PCs as the preferred way to access the Internet and the number of people using PCs to go online will shrink by 15 million over the next four years, while the number of mobile users will increase by 91 million.
With the mobile space becoming a more enticing platform for online mischief, the complexity and volume of threats targeting consumers will continue to increase. Using its extensive global threat intelligence network (GTI), McAfee Labs analyzed mobile security data from the last three quarters.
“Despite elevated consumer awareness of threats on mobile platforms, there is still a significant knowledge gap surrounding how and when devices become infected and the level of potential damage,” said Luis Blando, vice president of mobile product development at McAfee.
“Cybercriminals are exhibiting greater levels of determination and sophistication leading to more destructive, multi-faceted hacks that are harder to spot, and thus warrant a greater degree of security and vigilance. Our goal in releasing this report is to help consumers understand the risks they face and learn ways they can stay safe and compute with confidence on all of their devices.”
In the report, McAfee Labs identifies the following threats as the most severe existing and new trends consumers will encounter in 2013:
Risky Apps: Cybercriminals are going to great lengths to insert infected apps into trusted sources such as Google Play and the risks within each app are becoming more intricate.
As a matter of fact, McAfee Labs found that 75 percent of the malware-infected apps downloaded by McAfee Mobile Security users, who are apt to be more security conscious than the average consumer, were housed in the Google Play store, and that the average consumer has a one in six chance of downloading a risky app.
Nearly 25 percent of the risky apps that contain malware also contain suspicious URLs, and 40 percent of malware families misbehave in more than one way.
A risky app may allow someone to:
- Steal personal information such as banking, email or wireless account details and combine that with location data to put together a complete picture of who you are
- Perpetuate fraud such as an SMS scam that will charge you without your approval
- Abuse a device by making it part of a criminal bot network, which allows someone to remotely control your phone
Black Market Activity: Botnet clients, downloaders, and rootkits are generic, useful software sold on black markets as part of software toolkits.
Criminals use these to commit premium SMS and click fraud, spam distribution, data theft, or bank fraud – and the complexity of these criminal activities is growing. Commercial criminals are now reusing and recombining these components to devise new, profitable schemes.
Drive-by Downloads: The first mobile drive-by downloads were seen in 2012 and we expect these to increase in 2013. On a mobile device, a drive-by download fools a user into downloading an app without knowing it. Once a user opens the app, criminals have access to the device.
Near Field Communication: In 2013, we expect to see criminals abuse the tap-and-pay near field communications (NFC) technology used in mobile payment programs, or “digital wallets.” This scam uses worms that propagate through proximity, a process we can call “bump and infect.”
The distribution path can quickly spread malware through a group of people such as in a passenger-loaded train or at an amusement park. When the newly infected device is used to “tap and pay” for the next purchase, the scammer collects the details of the wallet account and secretly reuses these credentials to steal from the wallet.
Worm malware like this will spread by exploiting vulnerabilities on devices. This development would monetize the 11.8 percent of malware families that already contain exploit behaviors.
As the mobile space evolves, criminals will look at ways to generate revenue from features only mobile devices have. During 2012, about 16 percent of malware families detected by McAfee attempted to get devices to subscribe to premium SMS messages. In 2013, we foresee an increase in threats that will have users finding out they bought premium apps only when they check their bills.
For a full copy of the Mobile Security: McAfee Consumer Trends Report from McAfee Labs, with additional threats, please visit:http://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/reports/rp-mobile-security-consumer-trends.pdf
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
While 2013 cyberthreats are already well anticipated and mundane, but Internet Identity (IID) predicts that by 2014 significant new methods of cybercrime will emerge. Some of them – such as murder via connected devices or a hacked power gird, are truly scary.
These new threats include the utilization of Internet connected devices to actually carry out physical crimes, including murders and cybercriminals leveraging mobile device Near Field Communications (NFC) to wreak havoc with banking and e-commerce.
IID also expects the industry to combat such threats with new platforms for sharing intelligence across researchers, commercial enterprises and government agencies.
“Being bold is predicting the end of the world this week coinciding with the end of the Mayan long-count calendar as some people are. What isn’t bold in cybersecurity is prognosticating the same old same old with more mobile malware, APTs giving cybercriminals backdoor access to their intended victims and even more data breaches of Fortune 500 companies as most industry pundits are,” noted IID president and CTO Rod Rasmussen.
“Those threats are well understood, and being addressed today. The more interesting thing from our perspective is what’s next? And how will the industry respond?”
Murder By Internet Connected Devices
With nearly every device, from healthcare to transportation, being controlled or communicated with in some way via the Internet, IID predicts that criminals will leverage this to carry out murders.
Examples include a pacemaker that can be tuned remotely, an Internet-connected car that can have its control systems altered, or an IV drip that can be shut off with a click of a mouse.
“With so many devices being Internet connected, it makes murdering people remotely relatively simple, at least from a technical perspective. That’s horrifying,” continued Rasmussen.
“Killings can be carried out with a significantly lower chance of getting caught, much less convicted, and if human history shows us anything, if you can find a new way to kill, it will be eventually be used.”
By 2014, Juniper Research predicts almost 300 million (one in five) smartphones worldwide will be NFC-enabled, and Global NFC transactions will total almost $50 billion. NFC, something mobile companies are heavily marketing, is a set of smartphone standards that enables everything from payments to unlocking of hotel room doors to automatic peer-to-peer information exchange between two devices placed closely together.
IID predicts that while the underlying technology in NFC is secure, almost all of the applications that will be written to interface with the technology will be riddled with security holes, and massive losses will ensue.
A gold mine for cyber crooks
“The amount of banking and point of sale e-commerce apps that are being developed utilizing NFC is astronomical,” said IID Vice President of Threat Intelligence Paul Ferguson. “This is a gold mine for cybercriminals and we have already seen evidence that they are working to leverage these apps to siphon money.”
In lock-step with all of these threats, IID predicts a strong response in the form of an intelligence sharing network that will alert participating companies, government institutions and more about the latest cybercrime attacks.
Currently, government agencies lack clear guidance about the rules of engagement for sharing, and enterprises are worried about the potential liabilities created by intelligence sharing. IID expects that Congress will enact new cybersecurity legislation that provides safe harbor protections enabling enterprises and government institutions to share intelligence without such fears in the coming months.
Other cybersecurity trends IID predicts in 2014 include:
- A large increase of government sanctioned malware targeting other government institutions around the globe with nation states openly engaging in acts of cyber-espionage and sabotage
- At least one successful penetration of a major infrastructure component like a power grid that results in billions of dollars in damage
- An exploit of a significant military assault system like drones that result in real-world consequences
To read about the latest Internet security trends, go towww.internetidentity.com/resources/trend-reports to access IID’s quarterly eCrime Trend Reports.
Monday, September 10th, 2012
Visa and PayPal top the list of consumers’ preferred mobile wallet providers at 15% and 13%, while mobile network operators Verizon and AT&T (with the Isis wallet), and Apple, are close behind.
So says a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research that defines the mobile wallet industry in its initial stages.
To become a valued mobile wallet provider, the report says, consumers consider three important factors—trust, innovation, and privacy. A balanced approach of the three is more important to consumers, as PayPal and Visa have demonstrated with high scores in all three categories.
Personally, we use PayPal as often as possible because it is convenient and easy compared to many other choices. We did have one security incident with PayPal, although it was resolved and we did a much tougher password unique to the service.
The report suggests that financial institutions are well positioned to leverage their customers’ trust to become mobile wallet leaders. It says more than 60% of mobile bankers are likely to adopt a mobile wallet in the next 12 months.
Providers will have to determine which mobile point-of-sale technology – Near field communications (NFC), cloud, and bar code – to use. In the near-term, bar codes and cloud-based wallets will proliferate, as they do not require mobile phone upgrades or merchant investments in terminals and systems.
With Apple’s iPhone 5 coming soon and other new devices following the iPhone, it is expected that NFC chip technology will prevail as it offers the convenience of paying with a simple tap or wave of the phone.
“NFC faces significant barriers to adoption by merchants and consumers, but it is standards-based technology that will eventually prevail as the main mobile point-of-sale technology,” said Mary Monahan, executive vice president and research director, Mobile at Javelin.
“Google was first out the door with NFC and has stumbled. When Apple enters the payment space with NFC, we expect Apple iPhone 5 will lead the way and others will follow Apple’s lead.”
For the full report see: Battle for Control of the Mobile Wallet: Sorting out Players, Technologies and Strategies to Win
Monday, July 30th, 2012
The mobile-commerce market is expected to account for 24.4 percent of overall e-commerce revenues by the end of 2017. This represents the result of some spectacular growth in 2011, when the mobile online commerce market doubled in size to $65.6 billion.
ABI Research’s mobile online commerce report found that this growth is being fuelled by the rapid adoption of smartphones in both mature and developing markets, as well as a retail market in which traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are implementing multi-channel strategies in the face of increasing competition from Internet-based vendors.
M-commerce growing at fast rate
Currently, m-commerce is a relatively small percentage of the overall e-commerce market, but growing at a much faster rate. Mobile reached a tipping point in 2011, fuelled by the move from standalone apps and storefronts to the current situation where m-commerce platforms, apps, and services are now being enhanced, optimized and integrated.
Practice director, John Devlin, commented that, “M-commerce is not yet mass market, but it is delivering remarkable growth in tough economic conditions. There remain questions, as how to best realize the value and ROI of m-commerce but innovative retailers with the resources to invest in the development of their mobile portfolio have clearly identified this as the way forward.”
Smartphones and the “app-store mentality” have led to the market developing incredibly quickly. Consumers are able to use their mobile devices to purchase a range of physical and digital goods and to choose from a range of options as to how they pay for them. The introduction of HTML5, visual search, NFC, augmented reality, full Internet browsing, and (in-door) location will increasingly play a part in “showrooming” and m-commerce.
Mobile becoming full-blown multi-channel offering
“Mobile is now transitioning from what was initially viewed by many as a retail experiment to a viable component of a full-blown multi-channel offering,” added Devlin. “Consumer awareness has been boosted by the “Groupon effect” and now everyone wants a bargain. This is further exacerbated by the need in the retail sector to a) differentiate from the competition, b) be seen to be offering value, and c) an enhanced need to increase consumer engagement and interaction. Mobile helps to fulfill all of these criteria.”
The mobile online commerce report is part of ABI Research’s Mobile Money and Shopping Research Service, which consists of detailed market data, focused research, analysis and market insight.