You are currently viewing Low Security Firmware Updates Show NFC Technology Can Hack ATMs

Low Security Firmware Updates Show NFC Technology Can Hack ATMs

Security researchers have raised concerns over ATM’s NFC loopholes, caused by bugs. These raising cyber attacks have been raised by IOActive security researcher Rodriquez.

Phone NFC payment
Phone NFC payment


According to a report by wiredcard reader technology found in ATMs as well as Point of sale are now hackable using smartphones NFC technology. With just a wave of his phone over a contactless credit card reader, Rodriquez was able to hack his way through.


Point of sale NFC payment
Point of sale NFC payment


What are NFC’s? They are systems that let you wave your credit card over a reader instead of swiping or inserting it when collecting money from a cash machine or to make a payment.

Most modern stores, restaurants, taxis, and parking meters use this technology for quicker payments and services.


Get Cash From the ATM NFC enabled
Get Cash From the ATM NFC enabled


Rodriquez the security consultant built an android app that allows his smartphone to mimic those credit card radio communications and leverage on flaws in their NFC system firmware.


The main reason these systems can be hacked is the lack of firmware updates for security. When last did your local ATM stand receive a security firmware update or your local retail store?

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Rodriquez stated that he can exploit a variety of bugs to crash point-of-sales, hack them to collect and transmit credit card data.

What is NFC? Near Field Communication - Contactless Technology


Move further to change transaction figures without a trace and even lock the devices while displaying a ransomware message.


Karsten Nohl, founder of Security firm SRLabs and also a widely known firmware hacker reviewed Rodriquez’s work. He described it as “excellent research into the vulnerability of software running on embedded devices”.


Although he mentioned that a hacked NFC reader would only be able to steal mag-stripe credit card data, not the victim’s PIN or data from EMV Chips.


What Is a TPM, and Why Do I Need One for Windows 11? | PCMag


Big companies like Microsoft and Apple have been widely known to release security updates for their operating systems. Microsoft even made a TPM feature the barest minimum for PC to have access to its Windows 11 software.


If only Point of sales, ATMs, and other vendors could embrace regular security firmware updates, only then newer technologies like NFC would be able to hack their systems through bugs.



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