All You Can Eat or Breaking a Real-World Contactless Payment System

(Short Paper)
  • Timo Kasper
  • Michael Silbermann
  • Christof Paar
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6052)


We investigated a real-world contactless payment application based on mifare Classic cards. In order to analyze the security of the payment system, we combined previous cryptanalytical results and implemented an improved card-only attack with customized low-cost tools, that is to our knowledge the most efficient practical attack to date. We found several flaws implying severe security vulnerabilities on the system level that allow for devastating attacks including identity theft and recharging the amount of money on the cards. We practically verify and demonstrate the attacks on the commercial system.


Payment System Authentication Protocol Card Number Linear Feedback Shift Register USENIX Security Symposium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Courtois, N.: The Dark Side of Security by Obscurity - and Cloning MiFare Classic Rail and Building Passes, Anywhere, Anytime. In: SECRYPT, INSTICC, pp. 331–338 (2009)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Crapto1. Open Implementation of CRYPTO1 (2008),
  3. 3.
    de Koning Gans, G., Hoepman, J.-H., Garcia, F.D.: A Practical Attack on the MIFARE Classic. In: Grimaud, G., Standaert, F.-X. (eds.) CARDIS 2008. LNCS, vol. 5189, pp. 267–282. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Garcia, F.D., de Koning Gans, G., Muijrers, R., van Rossum, P., Verdult, R., Schreur, R.W., Jacobs, B.: Dismantling MIFARE Classic. In: Jajodia, S., Lopez, J. (eds.) ESORICS 2008. LNCS, vol. 5283, pp. 97–114. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Garcia, F.D., van Rossum, P., Verdult, R., Schreur, R.W.: Wirelessly Pickpocketing a Mifare Classic Card. In: IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, pp. 3–15. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    ISO/IEC 14443-A. Identification Cards - Contactless Integrated Circuit(s) Cards - Proximity Cards - Part 1-4, (2001),
  7. 7.
    Kasper, T., Carluccio, D., Paar, C.: An Embedded System for Practical Security Analysis of Contactless Smartcards. In: Sauveron, D., Markantonakis, K., Bilas, A., Quisquater, J.-J. (eds.) WISTP 2007. LNCS, vol. 4462, pp. 150–160. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kirschenbaum, I., Wool, A.: How to Build a Low-Cost, Extended-Range RFID Skimmer. In: USENIX Security Symposium (2006)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Nohl, K., Evans, D., Starbug, Plötz, H.: Reverse-Engineering a Cryptographic RFID Tag. In: USENIX Security Symposium, pp. 185–194 (2008)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    NXP. Mifare Classic (1995),
  11. 11.
    NXP. AN200701: ISO/IEC 14443 Eavesdropping and Activation Distance. Technical report (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    NXP. Mifare Classic 1K MF1 IC S50 Functional Specification (2008),

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timo Kasper
    • 1
  • Michael Silbermann
    • 1
  • Christof Paar
    • 1
  1. 1.Horst Görtz Institute for IT SecurityRuhr-University BochumGermany

Personalised recommendations