Design of a Secure Smart Card Operating System for Pervasive Applications

The ever-increasing computational power of smart cards has made them feasible for use in pervasive applications such as electronic passports, military and public sector identification cards and cell-phone based financial and entertainment applications. However, such applications require a secure environment, which can only be provided with sufficient hardware and a secure operating system. In this paper we argue that smart card platforms pose additional security challenges when compared to traditional computer platforms. We discuss our design for a secure smart card operating system, named Caernarvon, and show that it addresses these challenges, which include secure application download, protection of cryptographic functions from potentially malicious applications, resolution of covert channel issues, and assurance of both security and data integrity in the face of arbitrary power losses.

By: Paul A. Karger; David C. Toll; Elaine R. Palmer; Suzanne K. McIntosh; Samuel M. Weber

Published in: RC24687 in 2008


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