0-Gao - Smart Card Security 1. Introduction Smart card...

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Smart Card Security 1. Introduction Smart card looks like a credit card but embeds an integrated circuit chip. Besides providing memory capacity, smart card also provides computational capabilities. Unlike ordinary credit cards, smart card does not rely on external resources for data encryption and decryption. Because of its self-containment, smart card is “resistant to attack as it dose not need to depend upon potentially vulnerable external resources” [1]. Therefore, it is widely used in the applications that require high security protection and authentication. Today, smart card is used as credit/debit card, medical card, identification card, entertainment card, voting card, or mass transit card [3]. All these applications contain sensitive data, such as card owner’s biometrics information, personal medical record, and cryptographic keys used for authentication. They need to be strongly protected. As a result, security becomes a big issue in smart card. This paper discusses the security related to the smart card and existing attacks and their resistances. 2. Security Technologies In order to give a detailed description, we analyze the security of smart card in three different points of views: physical structure and life cycle, communication with the outside world, and operating system. 2.1. Physical Structure and Life Cycle This section shows the physical structure and basic components of the smart card. In addition, the life cycle of the smart card is also presented here. Through these descriptions, we should have a brief view of how the stored information in smart card is securely protected during the processes of transferring from card manufacturer to the application issuer then to the user. 2.1.1. Physical Structure According to International Standards Organization (ISO), smart card contains three physical elements: a plastic card, a printed circuit, and an integrated circuit chip. Figure1 shows the main physical components of smart card. Figure 1. Physical Structure of Smart Card [4] The plastic card has a dimension of 85.60mm x 53.98mm x 0.80mm. It must be able to bend in a certain degree without any damages. The printed circuit is a gold plate that provides the communication between the external power or data and the internal chip. Moreover, it prevents the circuit chip from mechanical stress and static electricity. The most important component in the smart card is the integrated circuit chip. Figure 2. Smart Card Microchip Components [4] As shown in Figure 2, it consists of a microprocessor, read only memory (ROM), non-static random access memory (RAM), and electrically erasable programmable read only memory (EEPROM). The integrated circuit chip must be a few millimeters in size because it is made of silicon, which is easy to break [1].
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2.2.2. Life Cycle of the Smart Card Each smart card runs an operating system that contains the manufacturer identification number (ID), type of component, serial number, profile information, and most important the keys. Obviously, information
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2011 for the course SECURITY 2354 taught by Professor Morganjones during the Spring '11 term at Ucla Venezuela.

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0-Gao - Smart Card Security 1. Introduction Smart card...

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