This one is too hard to defend. Sometimes I've been really enthusiastic about small and/or useless stuff on crowdfunding sites and early access stuff, but this is simply overpriced off the shelve hardware with a sticker...
Well, as long as there are people willing to send money to them, I suppose it's a "good" idea from a commercial point of view...
Regarding the time needed for this, when I put my own card behind my phone, it really worked in roughly a single second. And it does work as fast through multiple layers of clothing as long as there's nothing metallic in the way. Now, in very crowded area, peoples get pushed on each others. If it was enough in the past for a skilled pickpocket to steal your wallet without you noticing, clearly it's enough promiscuity to do a contactless swipe over your pocket.
Now, the question of multiple NFC cards is real, but you assume that people who have multiple contactless cards hold them all in the same place. Unfortunately, for it to mitigate this "attack", all the card need to be on the same technology (for example, my transportation card doesn't talk NFC and don't seem to interfere with my phone NFC reading capabilities). And some people find it more convenient to "spread" their contactless card, so they can just push their wallet/handbag/whatever on the NFC reader instead of taking out the card itself. Again, convenience my very well be in the path of security.
So, all in all, yes, I have evidence that reading an NFC card through clothes can be done efficiently and go unnoticed. Also, since you mention tinfoil wallet time, for NFC it might be enough. I said it in another post, but a "simple" metallic card holder render my cards invisible as far as my phone NFC reader is concerned, so it might be a short term solution. But I also don't doubt that it's infaillible, as boosting the signal from the receiver side might be enough to get through that. YMMV.
As for people suggesting Faraday cage wallets and such, I'm unconvinced. A proper Faraday cage has to have no gaps, and most of these are not that tightly constructed. I would not be at all surprised if many of them provide only a feeling of security rather than actual security.
Don't know about "faraday cage" wallets, but I carry most of my cards in a simple metallic case that loosely close (it's not airtight or anything). It is enough for my phone to not pick up the card inside when I put them together, so I suppose it would be a severe hindrance to people trying to read an NFC card with a quick bump.
Still, some tweaked hardware to boost the signal on the receiver side might get through. Hmm I need to run some more tests...
Don't have to. Bump into a person every few minutes in a crowded subway area, and get $20 out of any of them that have a card that happen to be close enough to the "bump".IF you do this every two minutes, and only 1 out of 5 person get you a result, a 7-hour day of work will yield 42 card details, or $840 of "chump change".
Now, think about this: this contactless payment system is not going away soon (I'm not even talking about the "vulnerabilities" exposed there). If you manage to get a channel for all these card numbers, it seems like you're running a very profiteable business. Only fixes are changing the contactless cards to something with actual security (not gonna happen soon), or putting them in some metal wallet to avoid unwanted readings (and people won't care for such small quantities of money).
I didn't RTFA (because this is slashdot after all) but if the topic is really about a way to bypass the small limit on contactless operations, even by a small amount, it can get huge very fast.
To be 100% fair, the RFID is easy to disable, you just have to cut the induction loop.
To be even more fair, the data on a passport are somewhat encrypted, so it's not as easy as reading a card number
However the biggest issue with RFID cards is the fact they send your card number, name and expiry date out in an easily decrypted format... So you can now use RFID to harvest CC numbers and rip them off the old fashioned way (in Russia so even if you're identified you can never be caught).
That is the thing I find the most infuriating with these contactless payment systems. We *have* the technology to produce contactless smartcards, and yet their new big thing is just sending all data in plaintext to whatever reader is available. When my mother got her new credit card, I put it on the back of my phone, and on screen popped all the informations needed to use the card on any website not using stuff like 3DSecure (and there are still a fair number of them).
Feels like banks actually want to help pickpocket: now when they bump into you, they won't need to get your wallet.
Yeah... or, just putting the damn card in the card reader.
Not sure about the state of payment cards in the US, but in France (and likely most of Europe) we've had smart cards that actually discuss with the payment terminal. While not that secure at times, you needed an actual/intended physical interaction between the card reader and the card.
Fast forward to nowadays, we've introduced contactless cards, so anyone with an NFC phone can read your card info through your pocket. Like reading the magnetic track. Except there's no physical interaction needed. All of this for what? So it could be easier. Why didn't they *simply* use *existing technology* and implemented a protocol that allowed fast payment (without entering a PIN code) through traditional readers instead?
I'm not saying that these new "vulnerabilities" related to contactless/NFC cards are not a problem: the protocols should've been secure from the start. But they actually had something that prevented all these loopholes, and said "nah, let's go with NFC even though it don't speed-up the payment process in the least." What a joke.
Remember that Japan is located in a very active place regarding underground activities.
Yes, I think see what you mean. Apps like "Hangout", "Google Video", "Google Books", that kind of apps?
The difference here is that these are always present, but don't interfere with the content of your account. When my Android phone installed Google Video, it didn't replace another Video app, didn't become the "default" video viewer, and wasn't added anywhere except the applications menu. Unless I actively looked for it, I would not find it.
Now, when google decided to add some free music to my music library, it did show up while I was browsing *my* music, and I had to do something to remove it. But I think there's a difference between new app/services being pushed, and content being added to a user account. The former is part of the system's evolution, while the later is more akind of pop-up ads.
About today's topic: from the summary, it looks like there's two issues: first is automatic download on user's devices (even those not using this feature at all), and no obvious way to remove this. I believe the issue is more about this than pushing new services.
On the other side, not using a VPN to work/transfer personal stuff is a security risk, that can lead to data leak, identity theft, etc. So, VPN. And screw the BBC. I suppose they do all their data transfer in the clear, too?