New team project on a trusted path for smart cards

smartcardsThirteen years ago I extended an approach proposed by Balacheff, added a trusted platform module (new at that time), and applied the approach to electronic signature creation. The idea was to enable a smart card to determine whether it could trust the machine it communicated with and use it as an execution environment for its own code. The desire is not new, and when you replace the smart card with a remote server, then the problem can be restated as determining whether code could be executed in a remote execution environment. Technology has made progress, and building secure operating environments has been researched, e.g., in the EMSCB (European Multilateral Secure Computing Base) EU project. The approaches presented a decade ago had not been implemented, and time is ripe to find out if an implementation is feasible with today’s technology.

Four students from the Master in Computer Science programme at HTWG Konstanz will work on implementing Intelligent Adjuncts for smart cards and combine that with a trusted path for applications, another project I have maintained over some time. The students will work on the topic until Summer 2015 and I look forward to a working prototype or at least a report pointing out the need for further research.

About Author: Hanno Langweg

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