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The Security of Near Field Communications (NFC) Technology

Near Field Communications (NFC) is widely recognized as a highly secure identification technology. Its proven uses in smart credit cards (available primarily in Europe and Asia), keyless card locks and mobile payment systems attest to the security of this technology.

The heart of NFC security is the chip manufacturer's serial number embedded in the chip. This number is not only unique but it is programmed onto the chip during the chip manufacturing process. This serial number cannot be altered, overwritten or duplicated on another chip. This feature provides the signature that identifies the chip as one of a kind, unique item. This is the basis for its use in secure identification.

Traditional identification marks such as bar codes and more recently QR codes offer virtually no security. While they are useful in non-secure identification systems, both are easily replicated or altered. Computer programs for creating and printing both of these codes are readily available to anyone. There is no uniqueness or inherent security to these codes. (Simply take a picture of a bar code on an item with a smart phone. Take the smart phone to the next destination, call up the picture and scan the picture with the system scanner. The scanner will read the bar code on the picture and the system will now think that the original package has arrived - which of course it hasn't).

For more information on NFC technology, go to: NFC on Wikipedia

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