Smart Card Security
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” .
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 . 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 
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 
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 .