Off to Macca’s? Be sure to bring your tinfoil hat and Faraday cage, lest your phone be hijacked by an unsecured NFC tag! Grand conspiracy or something significantly less sinister? It’s the latter. It’s always the latter.
But let’s hear the story anyway.
The folks from PlaytechNZ discovered something odd when they sat down to eat at their local McDonald’s — the NFC app on their phone detected a bunch of, well, near tags.
Unfortunately, someone didn’t do the best job of setting them up:
We realised there were several completely unsecured NFC tags taped to the bottom of the table. These tags were on all of the tables.
Alright, they’re unsecured. How big of a deal is that? PlaytechNZ continues:
The tags we saw were empty — there were no actions loaded on them, but within seconds we’d reprogrammed them to load the Playtech site. It’s totally possible that someone could reprogram these to send a text, make a call or even load up a dodgy website.
I think we can all agree McDonald’s doesn’t want to load porn onto your phone. A comment on the video by one “Jeffrey Michaud” has a more grounded theory:
The tags are for the computer ordering terminals. When you place your order you take a coaster with you back to your table, it reads the tag and tells the kitchen where you sat down and they bring your order directly to you. Its pretty cool to see in action. The tags on our tables in Canada were locked and just had the table number stored on them so when then are ready to go they are locking them.
I mean, given the choice between Macca’s being a front for NZSIS, or an as-yet-unimplemented ordering system, that’s an easy choice.