Host card emulation android

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Host card emulation android

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Sample app for the Host-based Card Emulation released in Android 4. Dismiss Join GitHub today GitHub is home to over 50 million developers working together to host and review code, manage projects, and build software together. Sign up. Go back. Launching Xcode If nothing happens, download Xcode and try again. Latest commit. Git stats 9 commits. Failed to load latest commit information. View code. You can find a precompiled APK in the releases section of this repository.

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Save preferences.Although Apple is using a Secure Element to safeguard Apple Pay credit card transactions, competitors such as Google and Microsoft have decided on Host Card Emulation HCE as an easier way to bring secure mobile payments to whole ranges of devices. Although HCE is easier to implement, it may not have been the best choice in terms of security. Google implemented the host card emulation feature more than a year ago in Android 4. Secure Elements are hardware components in which the credit card number can be stored, with limited interaction with the operating system other than to be used for mobile payments.

The secure elements can exist either on the chip embeddedor in SIMs, so it's like using a smart card in your smartphone. Google adopted a chip-based Secure Element initially, but the carriers demanded that the Secure Element be tied to their SIM cards, presumably as a way to control the mobile payments market, and to delay Google Wallet from taking off.

HCE is essentially a cloud-based Secure Element, w here the emulation of the card happens on the device while using a virtual credit card number.

Then, that number is verified on the mobile payments provider's servers. After that, the real credi t card number is sent to the merchant to authorize and complete the transaction. HCE is considered both less private and less secure than using a Secure Element on the device. For example, in Apple Pay's case, Apple doesn't even keep the real credit card data in the Secure Element, but only a token, or virtual number, as per the EMVco tokenization standard.

Thus, even if the security of a device is compromised, the attackers can't get the real credit card data. Apple has also paired its iPhones with the Touch ID fingerprint authentication and the "Activation Lock" system, which further prevent the use of the phone for unauthorized purchases, even with a stolen iPhone.

On the other hand, cloud-based solutions can benefit from multiple ways of securing the credit card data, although they ultimately depend on how much those companies are willing to invest in securing that data.

Perhaps a company such as Google or Microsoft can take all the steps they can to secure data by using limited-use keys, tokens, device fingerprinting, and transaction risk analysis. However, not all mobile payment providers, or even banks, are going to do that. Even today, most banks don't use the most secure possible settings for HTTPS connections, for instance. As we've seen in the last year, companies that store credit card data are also targets of sophisticated attacks, and many of them can leave tens of millions of customers' credit cards exposed.

The mobile payment providers can see who uses a certain credit card number, and then they can even choose to share that data further with merchants or other companies for commercial and advertising purposes.

Host card emulation

This is something Google has already done with Google Wallet. With a Secure Element, that data cannot leave the device itself. Even the merchant can't see the real credit card number if the EMVco tokenization standard is implemented, just like in Apple Pay. The main advantage of host card emulation is not security, but scalability. For an OS vendor such as Google or Microsoft, it may make more sense to do Host Card Emulation, because their operating systems work on other companies' hardware, and it's more difficult to require them to support certain hardware.

It also ends up making low-end phones more expensive, and low-end hardware is what drives the bulk of OS market share for Google and Microsoft.

Developing Android* Business Apps Using NFC Host-based Card Emulation Capabilities

Unless that extra hardware is highly critical for the future of the platform, OS vendors will try to find a different solution that works for everyone without any extra effort from their partners. However, in this case, it can be argued that the Secure Element is indeed critical for mobile operating systems, because mobile payments themselves are an important service the operating systems need to support. That doesn't necessarily mean we won't still see embedded Secure Elements being adopted in Android devices, or even in Windows 10 handsets.

However, in the latter's case, Microsoft decides what works with the operating system and what doesn't. Ultimately, it boils down to the decision to make security device-centric or cloud-centric.

If devices tend to be unsecure in general, then it may make more sense to adopt cloud-centric security. However, that means putting all the trust, privacy and security into the service provider's hands. It also means that if that provider ever gets hacked, it could leave millions of people's sensitive data exposed at once. On the other hand, even if individual devices can be hacked, device-centric security can be made strong enough if OS vendors decide to use strong defaults.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service.

Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. Android 4.

host card emulation android

After flashing my phone to KitKat, I tried to scan my phone with the access reader. But whenever the screen turns off and on again, I get a different card ID.

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I did try keeping the phone screen on, and registering the emulated card ID to the door access system. It managed to grant the access to open the door. But this won't work after the screen turns off and on again. According to one of the Google developers responsible for HCE:. Sorry, I realize many people wanted this, but it's not possible in the official version. You could of course do it with some AOSP hacking.

The reason is that HCE is designed around background operation. If we allow apps to set the UID, every app possibly wants to set their own UID, and there's no way to resolve the conflict. We hope that with HCE, NFC infrastructure will move to higher levels of the protocol stack to do authentication instead of relying on the UID which is easily cloned anyway.

At least Broadcom's NFC controller used e. However, there is no API to change them, so the only way would be to modify the libnfc-nci library. You can find a more customizable version of libnfc-nci here still work-in-progress though. Some phones have a static UIDi.

But then, everyone with one of these phones could enter your room. You can also toggle such that the UID is maintained when the screen is off. Learn more. Asked 6 years, 11 months ago. Active 7 months ago.

Viewed 18k times.In most cases, the card is emulated by a separate chip in the device, called a secure element. Many SIM cards provided by wireless carriers also contain a secure element. Android 4. This allows any Android application to emulate a card and talk directly to the NFC reader.

This document describes how host-based card emulation HCE works on Android and how you can develop an app that emulates an NFC card using this technique.

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When NFC card emulation is provided using a secure element, the card to be emulated is provisioned into the secure element on the device through an Android application.

Then, when the user holds the device over an NFC terminal, the NFC controller in the device routes all data from the reader directly to the secure element. Figure 1 illustrates this concept. The secure element itself performs the communication with the NFC terminal, and no Android application is involved in the transaction at all.

After the transaction is complete, an Android application can query the secure element directly for the transaction status and notify the user.

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When an NFC card is emulated using host-based card emulation, the data is routed to the host CPU on which Android applications are running directly, instead of routing the NFC protocol frames to a secure element. Figure 2 illustrates how host-based card emulation works. The NFC standards offer support for many different protocols, and there are different types of cards that can be emulated. Many existing contactless cards are already based on these protocols, such as contactless payment cards.

Specifically, Android 4. The layering of all these specifications is shown in the figure 3. One of the key advantages of a service is that it can run in the background without any user interface. This is a natural fit for many HCE applications like loyalty or transit cards, with which the user shouldn't need to launch the app to use it. Instead, tapping the device against the NFC reader starts the correct service if not already running and executes the transaction in the background.

Of course, you are free to launch additional UI such as user notifications from your service if that makes sense. An AID consists of up to 16 bytes. If you are emulating cards for an existing NFC reader infrastructure, the AIDs that those readers are looking for are typically well-known and publicly registered for example, the AIDs of payment networks such as Visa and MasterCard.

If you want to deploy new reader infrastructure for your own application, you will need to register your own AID s. Google recommends registering an AID as per if you are deploying a HCE application for Android, as it will avoid collisions with other applications. In some cases, an HCE service may need to register multiple AIDs to implement a certain application, and it needs to be sure that it is the default handler for all of these AIDs as opposed to some AIDs in the group going to another service.

In other words, there is no in-between state, where some AIDs in the group can be routed to one HCE service, and some to another.

AXLPay Host Card Emulation and Loyalty

Each AID group can be associated with a category. This allows Android to group HCE services together by category, and that in turn allows the user to set defaults at the category level instead of the AID level. In general, avoid mentioning AIDs in any user-facing parts of your application: they do not mean anything to the average user. Typically, this will be an app that understands major credit card payment protocols and which can work at any merchant.

The first step is therefore to extend HostApduService. HostApduService declares two abstract methods that need to be overridden and implemented. Note that this method will be called on the main thread of your application, which shouldn't be blocked. So if you can't compute and return a response APDU immediately, return null.This website uses cookies to provide social media features and to analyse traffic.

You can read more about it in our Cookie Policy. Here at Zero Molecule, we love to experiment with new technologies to evaluate if and how to use them on our next projects.

This time we wanted to try out HCE so that we can build an app that can serve as a keycard for the electronic lock. Although I will go over some necessary information about HCE, this post is not the go-to resource to learn about the HCE technology itself, just as it isn't a go-to resource to learn about the basics of Android and Flutter. This means that your phone can be used to mimic emulate the behavior of any contactless card.

A most known case for this technology is contactless payment with your device offered by applications such as Google Pay or Apple Pay. Those services leverage the HCE capability of your device by emulating your contactless payment cards. But even though payment is the most known usage, it isn't the only one. Fortunately, Android devices those with Android 4. Those uses can be customer loyalty card emulation, public transit card emulation, and many more such as keycard emulation described in this post.

We've decided to add another dot in our DotHub platform, which allows users to unlock their doors with their phones.

For this post, I won't bother you with the details of the whole project but will instead explain just the app part related to HCE and Flutter. On the image above, dashed arrows represent the communication flow which we cannot control. Notice that one of them is red. We will get to that part later on, but it means that we do have some say in that particular section of the flow. This component allows our Android application to handle the HCE logic by communicating with the HCE reader the lockprocessing that data, and forwarding the result to the native part of the UI our 2nd component.

The first important step is creating our service and declaring it in AndroidManifest. Other attributes are pretty much self-explanatory. However, we still have to create our apduservice.

Our apduservice. That triggers our HCEService. This is why the red dashed line from the image above isn't black like the others: we do have a say in which AID's our app can handle, but it is not a guarantee since other apps can also filter the same AID's.

In that case, it is up to the user to decide which app should handle the process.Host card emulation HCE is the software architecture that provides exact virtual representation of various electronic identity access, transit and banking cards using only software. Prior to the HCE architecture, near field communication NFC transactions were mainly carried out using secure elements.

HCE enables mobile applications running on supported operating systems to offer payment card and access card solutions independently of third parties while leveraging cryptographic processes traditionally used by hardware-based secure elements without the need for a physical secure element.

This technology enables the merchants to offer payment cards solutions more easily through mobile closed-loop contactless payment solutions, offers real-time distribution of payment cards and allows for an easy deployment scenario that does not require changes to the software inside payment terminals. At that time, RIM had a similar functionality, calling it "virtual target emulation", which was supposed to be available on the BlackBerry Bold device through the BB7 operating system.

Prior to HCE, card emulation only existed in physical space, meaning that a card could be replicated with multiple-purpose secure element hardware that is typically housed inside the casing of a smart phone.

host card emulation android

As a result of widespread adoption of HCE, some companies offer modified implementations that usually focus on providing additional security for the HCE's communication channel. NFC has faced adoption issues due to lack of infrastructure terminals and the secure element approach preventing organizations with the desire to participate in mobile payments from doing so due to the high up-front capital costs and complex partner relationships.

host card emulation android

Host card emulation is the ability for near field communication NFC information transfer to happen between a terminal configured to exchange NFC radio information with an NFC card and a mobile device application configured to act or pretend to emulate the functional responses of an NFC card.

HCE requires that the NFC protocol be routed to the main operating system of the mobile device instead of being routed to a local hardware-based secure element SE chip configured to respond only as a card, with no other functionality. Since the release of Android 4. The first known mobile handset to support anything like HCE outside of the Android family was the BlackBerry bold that was first available in Thailand.

This would imply that you could "read" a tag in the same manner that you could read a terminal. HCE is used to allow transactions between mobile devices and other credential acquiring devices.

Those devices may include other mobile devices, contactless point-of-sale terminals, transit turnstiles, or a variety of access control touch pads. For example, Android developers can leverage HCE to create specific payment experiences, such as using HCE to enable a mobile application as a transit card. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 1, Retrieved Retrieved 2 October MasterCard Social Newsroom. Retrieved 18 December Android Developers.

Retrieved 2 February NFC World.In most cases, the card is emulated by a separate chip in the device, called a secure element. Many SIM cards provided by wireless carriers also contain a secure element. Android 4. This allows any Android application to emulate a card and talk directly to the NFC reader. This document describes how host-based card emulation HCE works on Android and how you can develop an app that emulates an NFC card using this technique. When NFC card emulation is provided using a secure element, the card to be emulated is provisioned into the secure element on the device through an Android application.

Then, when the user holds the device over an NFC terminal, the NFC controller in the device routes all data from the reader directly to the secure element. Figure 1 illustrates this concept. The secure element itself performs the communication with the NFC terminal, and no Android application is involved in the transaction at all.

After the transaction is complete, an Android application can query the secure element directly for the transaction status and notify the user. When an NFC card is emulated using host-based card emulation, the data is routed to the host CPU on which Android applications are running directly, instead of routing the NFC protocol frames to a secure element.

Figure 2 illustrates how host-based card emulation works. The NFC standards offer support for many different protocols, and there are different types of cards that can be emulated. Many existing contactless cards are already based on these protocols, such as contactless payment cards. Specifically, Android 4. The layering of all these specifications is shown in the figure 3.

One of the key advantages of a service is that it can run in the background without any user interface. This is a natural fit for many HCE applications like loyalty or transit cards, with which the user shouldn't need to launch the app to use it. Instead, tapping the device against the NFC reader starts the correct service if not already running and executes the transaction in the background. Of course, you are free to launch additional UI such as user notifications from your service if that makes sense.

An AID consists of up to 16 bytes. If you are emulating cards for an existing NFC reader infrastructure, the AIDs that those readers are looking for are typically well-known and publicly registered for example, the AIDs of payment networks such as Visa and MasterCard. If you want to deploy new reader infrastructure for your own application, you will need to register your own AID s.

Google recommends registering an AID as per if you are deploying a HCE application for Android, as it will avoid collisions with other applications. In some cases, an HCE service may need to register multiple AIDs to implement a certain application, and it needs to be sure that it is the default handler for all of these AIDs as opposed to some AIDs in the group going to another service.

In other words, there is no in-between state, where some AIDs in the group can be routed to one HCE service, and some to another. Each AID group can be associated with a category. This allows Android to group HCE services together by category, and that in turn allows the user to set defaults at the category level instead of the AID level. In general, avoid mentioning AIDs in any user-facing parts of your application: they do not mean anything to the average user.

Typically, this will be an app that understands major credit card payment protcols and which can work at any merchant. The first step is therefore to extend HostApduService. HostApduService declares two abstract methods that need to be overridden and implemented.


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