An emerging area in mobile communication systems is the use of near field communication (NFC) antennas, which are compatible with HF RFID operating at 13.56MHz. The communication link is designed over a short range less than 10cm for applications such as contactless mobile payments, intelligent systems and electronic keys.
Example NFC antenna represented as an inductive loop, with parallel capacitors to give a resonance at 13.56MHz
In collaboration with the computing department I have overseen some extensive measurements of eavesdropping of NFC contactless payment scenarios, where we had released the first results with a white box approach to formulate the maximum possible eavesdropping distances with variable magnetic fields within the ISO 14443 standard. The distances are remarkably large suitably long enough in range for interrogating or skimming several mobile devices which support NFC out of which information can be readily harvested.
Publications on this work are available as follows:
T P Diakos, J A Briffa, T W C Brown, S Wesemeyer, "Eavesdropping near-field contactless payments: a quantitative analysis", IET Journal of Engineering, No. 7, October 2013. Free Download
T W C Brown, T Diakos, "On the design of NFC antennas for contactless payment applications", European Conference of Antennas and Propagation, 11-15 April, 2011.
T W C Brown, T Diakos, J A Briffa, "Evaluating the eavesdropping range of varying magnetic field strengths in NFC standards" European Conference on Antennas and propagation, pp3525-3528, April 2013.
Relevant press articles on the subject from work carried out are found at these links:
Official Press Release
Article in Professional Security
Engineering and Technology Magazine
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February 2012, Updated August 2014