Fortunately, Charlie Miller is on the Good Guys side. A skilled hacker, Mr. Miller demonstrated how to hijack a smartphone via short-range radio technology known as Near Field Communication (NFC). He created tools that forced phones to visit websites seeded with attack software. The software on the booby-trapped websites helped Mr. Miller look at and steal data held on a handset.
NFC is becoming increasingly common in smartphones as the gadgets are used as electronic tickets and digital wallets.
Mr. Miller, a research consultant at security firm Accuvant, demonstrated the work at the Black Hat hacker conference in Las Vegas. During his presentation, Mr. Miller showed how to attack three separate phones: the Samsung Nexus S, the Google Galaxy Nexus – which both run Android – and the Nokia N9, which runs on the MeeGo system.
Nokia has said they are aware of Mr. Miller’s work. No word from Google yet.