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Smart Cards are handy bits of plastic with embedded microprocessor or memory chips that are used for identification. Smart cards look like a credit card in size but have a computer chip embedded in them. The chip has a certain amount of memory capable of storing data, with a Card Operating System (COS), which is protected with advanced security features. Smart cards when coupled with a reader has the processing power to serve several different applications.
Smart cards can be considered as the worldâ„¢s smallest computers. Itâ„¢s quite possible that smart cards will follow the same trend of rapid increases in processing power that computers have, following "Mooreâ„¢s Law" and doubling in performance while halving in cost every eighteen months. As their capabilities grow, they could become the ultimate thin client, eventually replacing all of the things we carry around in our wallets, including credit cards, licenses, cash, and even family photographs. Smart cards have tremendous applications starting from the simple driving license to biometrics.
AN INTRODUCTION TO SMART CARDS
It has been said that smart cards will one day be as important as computers are today. This statement contains a bit of an error because it implies that smart cards are not computers, when in fact, they are. Because smart cards are indeed tiny computers, itâ„¢s difficult to predict the variety of applications that will be possible with them in the future. Itâ„¢s quite possible that smart cards will follow the same trend of rapid increases in processing power that computers have, following "Mooreâ„¢s Law" and doubling in performance while halving in cost every eighteen months.
Smart cards have proven to be quite useful as a transaction/authorization/identification medium in European countries. As their capabilities grow, they could become the ultimate thin client, eventually replacing all of the things we carry around in our wallets, including credit cards, licenses, cash, and even family photographs. By containing various identification certificates, smart cards could be used to voluntarily identify attributes of ourselves no matter where we are or to which computer network we are attached. According to Dataquest, the worldwide smart card market has grown 4.7 Billion units and $6.8 Billion by 2002.
We live in a world of fast-moving technical change. This is perhaps particularly relevant and challenging when related to smart cards, where hundreds of thousands of card-reading terminals need to be available, and tens of millions of smart cards need to be deployed, all with a potential life of several years. Forwards compatibility, and cross border and cross scheme interoperability is increasingly difficult to maintain against the background of rapid chip technology development. EEPROM may give way to faster and longer-lived Flash memory. Voltages for powering smart cards are reducing almost annually. Security technologies demand ever-faster processing power.
DEFINITION OF A SMART CARD
The smart card is one of the latest additions to the world of information technology. Similar in size to today's plastic payment card, the smart card has a microprocessor or memory chip embedded in it that, when coupled with a reader, has the processing power to serve many different applications. This chip is the engine room of the smart card, and indeed is what makes it 'smart'. The information or data stored on the IC chip is transferred through an electronic module that interconnects with a terminal or a card reader. This union between a conventional PVC card and a microprocessor allows an immense amount of information to be stored, accessed and processed either off-line or on-line. A smart card carries more information than can be accommodated on a magnetic stripe card. It can make a decision, as it has relatively powerful processing capabilities that allow it to do more than a magnetic stripe card (e.g., data encryption).
On a fundamental level, microprocessor cards are similar to desktop computers. They have operating systems, they store data and applications, they compute and process information and they can be protected with sophisticated security tools. Memory capacity and computing capabilities are increasing as semiconductor technology races forward. In fact, today's microprocessor cards have roughly the same computing power as desktop computers from 15 years ago.
EVOLUTION OF SMART CARDS
HISTORY OF SMART CARDS
The roots of the current day smart card can be traced back to the US in the early 1950s when Diners Club produced the first all-plastic card to be used for payment applications. The synthetic material PVC was used which allowed for longer-lasting cards than previously conventional paper based cards. In this system, the mere fact that you were issued a Diners Club card allowed you to pay with your "good name" rather than cash. In effect, the card identified you as a member of a select group, and was accepted by certain restaurants and hotels that recognized this group. VISA and MasterCard then entered the market, but eventually the cost pressures of fraud, tampering, merchant handling, and bank charges made a machine-readable card necessary. The magnetic stripe was introduced, and this allowed further digitized data to be stored on the cards in a machine-readable format. This type of embossed card with a magnetic stripe is still the most commonly used method of payment.
In 1968, German inventors JÃƒÂ¼rgen, Dethloff and Helmut GrÃƒÂ¶trupp applied for the first ICC related patents. Similar applications followed in Japan in 1970 and France in 1974. Smart cards date back to 1974 when the Frenchman Roland Moreno was granted patents on the concept of the smart card. The first public field-tests with memory cards were launched in France in the early 1980s. In these tests, memory cards were used as telephone and payment cards. The first Finnish smart card was developed by the so-called Otakortti Project, organized by the Student Union of the University of Technology in Otaniemi in the late 1980s. The cards used in the project were manufactured by Setec which was still called the Security Printing House of the Bank of Finland at that time. By 1986, many millions of French telephone smart cards were in circulation. Their number reached nearly 60 million in 1990, and 150 million are projected for 1996.
Latest super smart cards have keypads, LCD displays, battery and math co-processors for performing complex encryption algorithms.
CLASSIFICATION OF SMART CARDS
Memory cards simply store data. They do not have any processing capability and can be viewed as a small floppy disk with optional security. The main storage area in such cards is normally EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory), which - subject to defined security constraints - can have its content updated, and which retains current contents when external power is removed. Memory cards can be either memory only or can have security logic using passwords and pin codes.
Memory cards are further divided into 2:-
IC MEMORY CARDS
Can store data, but do not have a processor on the card.
OPTICAL MEMORY CARDS
Can only store data, but has a larger memory capacity than IC memory cards.
2.MICROPROCESSOR/INTELLIGENT SMART CARDS
A microprocessor card, on the other hand, can add, delete and manipulate information in its memory on the card. Similar to a miniature computer, a microprocessor card has an input/output port, card operating system (COS) and hard disk with built-in security features. These cards have on-card dynamic data processing capabilities. Within the card is a microprocessor or microcontroller chip that manages this memory allocation and file access This type of chip is similar to those found inside all personal computers and when implanted in a smart card, manages data in organized file structures, via a card operating system. Unlike other operating systems, this software controls access to the on-card user memory. This capability permits different and multiple functions and/or different applications to reside on the card, allowing businesses to issue and maintain a diversity of Ëœproductsâ„¢ through the card.
CARD ACCEPTANCE DEVICE(CAD)
Though commonly referred to as "smart card readers", all smart card enabled terminals, by definition, have the ability to read and write as long as the smart card supports it and the proper access conditions have been fulfilled. It is also called as Interface Device (ID). In contrast to smart cards, which all have very similar construction, smart card readers come in a variety of form factors with varying levels of mechanical and logical sophistication. The card user's first action is to insert the card in the reader. The application controlling the reader will detect the presence of the card and issue a "Reset" command. This will ensure that the smart card begins the new session in a "cold boot" context, with all its working data in RAM newly initialized. The card returns a response to the reset that indicates to the application that the card is initialized and ready to proceed with the session.
Mechanically, readers have various options including :- whether the user must insert/remove the card versus automated insertion/ejection mechanism, sliding contacts versus landing contacts, and provisions for displays and keystroke entry. Electrically, the reader must conform to the ISO/IEC 7816-3 standards. The options for readers are numerous. The easiest way to describe a reader is by the method of itâ„¢s interface to a PC. Smart Card Readers are available that interface to RS232 serial ports, USB ports, PCMCIA slots, floppy disk slots, parallel ports, infrared IRDA ports and Keyboards and keyboard wedge readers. Most units have their own operating systems and development tools. They typically support other functions such as magnetic stripe reading, modem functions and transaction printing.
A wide range of Mobile and Desktop Readers for off-line or on-line transactions like Proximity Terminals & Finger Print Scanners are available. Some examples include reader integrated into a vending machine, handheld battery-operated reader with a small LCD screen, reader integrated into a GSM mobile phone, and a reader attached to a personal computer.
Applications using smart cards work through an API providing card services. The card services interface with the COS through the driver software, which is generally card-specific. In general terms, the card services correspond to the COS functions. Diagram illustrates the relationship between COS, reader, driver software, API and application.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONTACT INTERFACES
1.CONTACT SMART CARDS
As the name suggests, a contact smart card needs to come into physical contact with a device that will allow information and data to be transferred to and from the card. This device is generally called a card-accepting device (CAD) or a smart card reader/writer. Contact smart cards are inserted into a smart card reader, making physical contact with the reader.
The cards have embedded on them a small gold plate approximately the size of an Australian 5-cent coin, commonly called the Ëœmoduleâ„¢. When the card comes into contact with the reader, it makes contact with several electrical connectors on the module that transfer the information to and from the chip. Contact smart cards are inserted into a smart card reader, making physical contact with the reader. They have a small gold plate about Ã‚Â½" in diameter on the front, instead of the magnetic strip on the back of a credit card.
2.CONTACTLESS SMART CARDS
A contactless smart card has the same dimensions as a contact smart card, but it derives its name from the way information and data is transferred between chip and the card-accepting device (CAD). There is no physical contact between card and the CAD as there is with a contact smart card. Contactless smart cards have an antenna coil encircling the card several times, which communicates with an external receiving antenna to transfer information or carry out a transaction, eliminating the need for any physical contact.
Contactless smart cards can be further sub-divided into 2:-
Proximity cards are used where the distance between the card and the receiving antenna is usually less than 20 cms, that is, where the card is in close proximity to the receiving device. They are used to get access into secure work areas.
Remote cards are used when the distance between card and antenna are meters away. An example of where a remote contactless smart card could be utilized here vehicles pass through a toll-collecting device.
3.COMBI/DUAL INTERFACE CARDS
Various combination of security are available along with smart cards. They can be divided into 2 :-
DUAL INTERFACE CARDS
These are cards with both a contact and a contactless interface. These may incorporate two non-communicating chips - one for each interface - but preferably have a single, dual-interface chip providing the many advantages of a single e-purse, single operating architecture, etc. A combi card combines the two features with a very high level of security. An example is using the same cad for multiple applications:- contact cards for authenticating secure information over the information network and contactless cards to get access to secure work areas. Contactless and combi-card architectures have many advantages, but it will be several years before the main and traditional contact card-based schemes start to migrate to these technologies.
COMBINATION OF SMART CARDS AND BIOMETRIC DEVICES
It provides 2/3 factor authentication because it checks for Biometrics (Fingerprint, Iris scan) - 'Who you are', Smart Card - 'What you have' and Password/Pin - 'What you know'. This is the most secure mechanism. Such biometrics include Iris and Retinal scans, Face or Hand geometry, and of course DNA, but the most likely and most acceptable attribute is the fingerprint.
ISO STANDARDS FOR SMART CARDS
ISO 7816 PARTS 1-7 contain the following set of standards:-
1. Physical Characteristics(Part 1)
2. Dimensions and location of the contacts(Part 2)
3. Electronic signals and Transmission protocols(Part 3)
4. Inter-Industry command for interchange(Part 4)
5. Application Identifiers(Part 5)
6. Inter-Industry data elements(Part 6)
STANDARD DIMENSIONS OF A SMART CARD
The international standard for the smart card specifies the size of the card and the position, size and format of the contact pad. Usually, the size is described as "credit-card sized".
ISO/IEC 7810 & 7816 - PART 1
CONTACTS OF THE SMART CARD MODULE
Â¢ Vcc is the supply voltage that drives the chips and is generally 3 volts. However that in the future we are likely to see a move towards 1 volt taking advantage of advanced semiconductor technology and allowing much lower current levels to be consumed by the integrated circuit.
Â¢ GND is the substrate or ground reference voltage against which the Vcc potential is measured.
Â¢ RST is the signal line that is used to initiate the state of the integrated circuit after power on.
Â¢ The CLK signal is used drive the logic of the IC and is also used as the reference for the serial communications link. There are two commonly used clock speeds 3.57 MHZ and 4.92 MHZ
Â¢ The Vpp connector is used for the high voltage signal that is necessary to program the EPROM memory.
Â¢ Last, but by no means least is the serial input/output I/O connector. This is the signal line by which the chip receives commands and interchanges data with the outside world.
Â¢ 32 KB ROM
Â¢ 16KB EEPROM
Â¢ 1.3KB RAM
Â¢ ACE CRYPTO UNIT
Â¢ CHIP AREA=21.33mm2
A smart card's microprocessor chip has all the components needed for the smart card application. Diagram 2 below indicates its main components and describes their function.
The microprocessor is often a low-power, low speed device, with 8-bit operation at 3MHz. More recently, there has been a move towards dedicated 32-bit processor design, using RISC concepts, operating at 25MHz.The I/O controller is a serial device operating at 9600 baud. This means that all data transmission is serial bit-stream and is restricted to one way at a time. All the program code and security features to support the smart card application are burned into a ROM area. This includes the Card Operating System (COS or "Mask") and any secret encryption keys. There is no external method of reading out this data. The RAM is the working area for the COS. It is implemented as volatile memory, so that when power is removed, the data disappears. There is no method of accessing this data externally. Application data is stored in EEPROM. Memory persists in the absence of power â€œ ten years minimum guaranteed. Read/Write access to the application data is subject to strict security measures policed by the COS.
CARD OPERATING SYSTEM(COS)
The functional characteristics of the smart card are determined by its operating system. The operating system differs from traditional operating systems in that it is the only program run by the card processor. The directories and files on the card may be assigned operating conditions. The operating system receives outside commands and executes them provided that certain processing conditions are met. The processing conditions may include items such as the requirement to enter the userâ„¢s PIN or a strong authentication of the reader. The operating system is also responsible for the control of the RAM and the EEPROM.
Operating systems used in smart cards resemble disk operating systems used in PCs. Operating systems provide a hierarchical tree structure and very versatile options for specifying access rights. For this reason, a directory designed for smart cards together with its files and access rights is called an application.
Though typically only a few thousand bytes of program code, the operating system for the smart card microprocessor must handle such tasks as:
Â¢ Data transmission over the bi-directional, serial terminal interface
Â¢ Loading, operating, and management of applications
Â¢ Execution control and Instruction processing
Â¢ Protected access to data
Â¢ Memory Management
Â¢ File Management
Â¢ Management and Execution of cryptographic algorithms
In contrast to personal computer operating systems such as Unix, DOS, and Windows, smart card operating systems do not feature user interfaces or the ability to access external peripherals or storage media. The size is typically between 3 and 24 Kbytes. The lower limit is that used by specialized applications and the upper limit by multi-application operating systems.
SMART CARD DIRECTORY STRUCTURE
Â¢ Most smart cards have a UNIX like tree-structured file system.
Â¢ File names are two bytes long.
Â¢ The root of this tree is 3f.00.
Â¢ For example, the following is the directory structure of M-Card. There are some files we are interested in ... especially the purse file, i.e., 3f.00/02.00/02.01.
APPLICATION PROTOCOL DATA UNITS(APDU)
Smart Cards speak to the outside world using their data packages called APDUs which are constructed using a set of protocols. APDU contains either a command or a response message. In the card world, the master-slave model is used whereby a smart card always plays the passive role. The smart card always waits for a command APDU from a terminal. It then executes the action specified in the APDU and replies to the terminal with a response APDU. APDU is a message transmitted between the smart card and the host. APDU has two types - input and output. Input sends data to card, and output receives data from card. Command APDUs and response APDUs are exchanged alternatively between the card and a terminal.
It consists of a 5 byte header, and 0 - 255 bytes of data.
Â¢ CLA : Class byte. It is usually unique to an application.
Â¢ INS : Instruction byte. It specifies the instruction.
Â¢ P1 : Parameter 1. Instruction specific.
Â¢ P2 : Parameter 2. Instruction specific.
Â¢ P3 : Parameter 3. This specifies the length of the data.
Â¢ Data : 0 - 255 byte data transmitted from host to card, or the other way.
FABRICATION OF SMART CARDS
The manufacture of a smart card involves a large number of processes of which the embedding of the chip into the plastic card is key in achieving an overall quality product. This latter process is usually referred to as card fabrication.
1. Chip specification
There are a number of factors to be decided in the specification of the integrated circuit for the smart card. The key parameters for the chip specification are as follows:-
a. Microcontroller type (e.g 6805,8051)
b. Mask ROM size
c. RAM size.3
d. Non volatile memory type (e.g EPROM, EEPROM)
e. Non volatile memory size
f. Clock speed (external, and optionally internal)
g. Electrical parameters (voltage and current)
h. Communications parameters (asynchronous, synchronous, byte, block)
i. Reset mechanism
j. Sleep mode (low current standby operation)
k. Co-processor (e.g for public key cryptography)
2. Card specification
The specification of a card involves parameters that are common to many existing applications using the ISO ID-1 card. The following list defines the main parameters that should be defined,
a. Card dimensions
b. Chip location (contact card)
c. Card material (e.g PVC, ABS)
d. Printing requirements
e. Magnetic stripe (optional)
f. Signature strip (optional)
g. Hologram or photo (optional)
h. Embossing (optional)
i. Environmental parameters
The choice of card material effects the environmental properties of the finished product. PVC was traditionally used in the manufacture of cards and enabled a higher printing resolution. Such cards are laminated as three layers with transparent overlays on the front and back. More recently ABS has been used which allows the card to be produced by an injection moulding process. It is even proposed that the chip micromodule could be inserted in one step as part of the moulding process. Temperature stability is clearly important for some applications and ETSI are particulary concerned here, such that their higher temperature requirement will need the use of polycarbonate materials.
3. Mask ROM Specification
The mask ROM contains the operating system of the smart card. It is largely concerned with the management of data files but it may optionally involve additional features such as cryptographic algorithms (e.g DES). In some ways this is still a relatively immature part of the smart card standards since the early applications used the smart card largely as a data store with some simple security features such as PIN checking. The relevant part of the ISO standard is 7816-4 (commands).There is a school of thought that envisages substantial changes in this area to account for the needs of multi-application cards where it is essential to provide the necessary security segregation. The developed code is given to the supplier who incorporates this data as part of the chip manufacturing process.
4. Application Software Specification
This part of the card development process is clearly specific to the particular application. The application code could be designed as part of the mask ROM code but the more modern approach is to design the application software to operate from the PROM non volatile memory. This allows a far more flexible approach since the application can be loaded into the chip after manufacture. More over by the use of EEPROM it is possible to change this code in an development environment. The manufacturer of a chip with the users ROM code takes on average three months. Application code can be loaded into the PROM memory in minutes with no further reference to the chip manufacturer.
5. Chip Fabrication
The first part of the process is to manufacture a substrate which contains the chip. This is often called a COB (Chip On Board) and consists of a glass epoxy connector board on which the chip is bonded to the connectors. There are three technologies available for this process, wire bonding, flip chip processing and tape automated bonding (TAB). In each case the semiconductor wafer manufactured by the semiconductor supplier is diced into individual chips . This may be done by scribing with a diamond tipped point and then pressure rolling the wafers so that it fractures along the scribe lines. More commonly the die are separated from the wafer by the use of a diamond saw. A mylar sheet is stuck to the back of the wafer so that following separation the dice remain attached to the mylar film. Wire bonding is the most commonly used technique in the manufacture of smart cards. Here a 25uM gold or aluminium wire is bonded to the pads on the chip using ultrasonic or thermo compression bonding.
Thermo compression bonding requires the substrate to be maintained at between 150C and 200C. The temperature at the bonding interface can reach 350C. To alleviate these problems thermo sonic bonding is often used which is a combination of the two processes but which operate at lower temperatures. The die mounting and wire bonding processes involve a large number of operations and are therefore quite expensive. However in the semiconductor industry generally two other techniques are used, the flip chip process and tape automated bonding. In both cases gold bumps are formed on the die. In flip chip processing the dice are placed face down on the substrate and bonding is effected by solder reflow. With tape automated bonding the dice are attached by thermocompression to copper leads supported on a flexible tape similar to a 35mm film. The finished substrate is hermetically sealed with an inert material such as epoxy resin. The complete micromodule is then glued into the card which contains the appropriately sized hole. The fabrication of a contactless card is somewhat different since it always involves a laminated card. The ICs and their interconnections as well as the aerial circuits are prepared on a flexible polyimide substrate.
Contactless card laminations
6. Application load
Assuming the application is to be placed in the PROM memory of the IC then the next stage in the process is to load the code into the memory. This is accomplished by using the basic commands contained in the operating system in the mask ROM. These commands allow the reading and writing of the PROM memory.
7. Card Personalisation
The card is personalized to the particular user by loading data into files in the PROM memory in the same way that the application code is loaded into memory. At this stage the security keys will probably be loaded into the PROM memory but as mentioned previously we will explore this in more detail later.
8. Application Activation
The final operation in the manufacturing process is to enable the application for operation. This will involve the setting of flags in the PROM memory that will inhibit any further changes to be made to the PROM memory except under direct control of the application. Again this is an integral part of the overall security process.
APPLICATIONS OF SMART CARDS
Electronic Purse to replace coins for small purchases in vending machines and over-the-counter transactions. VISA Cash Card issued during Olympics 1996 were the best example for this and Singaporeâ„¢s Net Cash Card system is a Smart card which acts like electronic purse and holds the money. The money can be spent for Payment in Parking Lots, museums, telephones, fast food joints, vending machines, transportations and many more places. Such electronic money can take many forms, and has been endowed with a wide and misleading vocabulary including stored value and e-purse.
Telephone Payment cards
These are the most widely used cards in the world. They have replaced coin-operated public phones, and have become advertising devices as well as collectorâ„¢s items.
National ID card
Smart Card based National IDâ„¢s project have started to take of in many countries among which Sultanate of Oman is first middle east country to deploy 1.2 million National ID cards to itâ„¢s residents. Gemplus, one of the leading providers of smart cards is behind this project with their solution called ResIDent for this purpose. Smart Card is one of the most secure mechanism today compared to any other type of ID cards, but when applications start to be deployed in such large scales it must taken care to make sure the whole system of such a project is secure rather than just the information on the smart card, failing to do so will result for high threats and failure of such systems.
The citizens of Argentina, El Salvador donâ„¢t need to carry dumb cards/ license booklets as a proof of eligibility to drive; they are allotted smart cards with their complete information on it. This almost reduces the license fraud to none with a secure mechanism which is difficult to be faked.
Patient Data Card(PDC)
A Patient data Card is a mobile data card held by the patient. It stores current, accurate health information. Data typically stored on a PDC includes patient ID, insurance information, emergency record, disease history and electronic prescriptions.
Health Professional Card(HPC)
An HPC is an individually programmed access authorization card held by the health professional. It gives him/her the right to read or write specific data fields on a PDC and it can also carry a digital signature for secure communication. This solution is popular and can be found available for citizens of countries like France, Germany, Slovenia, Belgium.
Student ID card, containing a variety of applications such as electronic purse (for vending and laundry machines), library card, meal card and transportation are used and University of Nottingham is one them.
Employee Identification cards
These are used as identification cards at offices.
Employee access cards
Employee access card are used in most of the organizations today and millions of cards are being distributed every year catering this market, this mechanism replaces the conventional lock and key security, employees today donâ„¢t need to carry different keys to different locks for the secure office areas and access can be given or terminated at given point with just a click on the access software without any management of conventional keys , with the older mechanism of lock and key any disgruntled employee could make a fake key of the original while it was in his possession and misuse it later but in the case of smart cards this is almost impossible and if higher security is needed then biometrics can be combined to protect physical access to facilities.
Time Attendance system
It monitors staff attendance and streamlines the input of data into the payroll system eliminating re-keying time sheets of time cards. These systems interact with existing automated Payroll systems, reducing administrative work, maximizing resources and optimizing performance. It customizes company data and its GUI Interface of point and click processing now automates this process and eliminates manual data entry. Its unique working timetable with varying schedules and work rules help ensuring company policies, accurate pay and uniformly administers benefits. Its searching capabilities for employee records or date intervals produce detailed reports according to the searching criteria. The security features enable only the authorized person or administrator to view and modify data records as permitted to.
6.COMMUNICATIONS AND ENTERTAINMENT
SIM(Subscriber Identity Module)
Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) providing secure initiation of calls and identification of caller (for billing purposes) on any Global System Mobile Communications (GSM) Mobile Phones. According to the survey donâ„¢t by GSM World around 763 million cards used worldwide, this is one of the biggest applications of smart cards in the world after payphone cards.
Subscriber Activation card for Pay-TV
Subscriber activation for various programmes on Pay-TV like Showtime and others is a big market for smart cards.
PC Security cards
Chip cards are used today by majority of the corporations like Microsoft, Oracle to access their networks, chip cards can be incorporated with technologies like Active Directory to store the PKI certificates for authentications makes it dual factor (Digital Certificate + User password) and the it also allows the users to encrypt the files and digitally sign the emails. The advantage of this mechanism is that in case of any damage to smart card due to tampering/usage the user data is still secure to be decrypted by issuing a new card with the same original Digital Certificate. In case the smart card is lost or if company decided no to reissue the same digital certificate to avoid any kind security breach, they can reissue the smart card with a new private key (Digital Certificate) and the data can be decrypted for the user by an special key.
Web based HTML forms can be digitally signed by your private key. This could prove to be a very important technology for internet based business because it allows for digital documents to be hosted by web servers and accessed by web browsers in a paperless fashion. Online expense reports, W-4 forms, purchase requests, and group insurance forms are some examples. For form signing, smart cards provide portability of the private key and certificate as well as hardware strength non repudiation. If an organization writes code that can be downloaded over the web and then executed on client computers, it is best to sign that code so the clients can be sure it indeed came from a reputable source. Smart cards can be used by the signing organization so the private key canâ„¢t be compromised by a rogue organization in order to impersonate the valid one.
Smart cards can cipher into billions and billions of foreign languages, and choose a different language at random every time they communicate. This authentication process ensures only genuine cards and computers are used and makes eaves-dropping virtually impossible.
Telecommuting And Corporate Network Security
Business to business Intranets and Virtual Private Networks VPNs are enhanced by the use of smart cards. Users can be authenticated and authorized to have access to specific information based on preset privileges. Additional applications range from secure email to electronic commerce. A smart card as an interoperable computing device has become the ultimate utility of processor cards. Today's networked societies revolve around accessing the worldwide information superhighways. As more people log-on to the network and more and more activities take place through networks, online security is of utmost importance.
BENEFITS OF SMART CARDS
Light and easy
Easy to use
Can be used independent of terminal devices.
Secret place for storing information.
Capable of processing, not just storing information.
Communicating with computing devices.
Information and applications on a card can be updated without having to issue new cards
The processing power of a smart card makes it ideal to mix multiple functions. For example, government benefit cards will also allow users access to other benefit programs such as health care clinics and job training programs. A college identification card can be used to pay for food, phone calls and photocopies, to access campus networks and to register classes. By integrating many functions, governments and colleges can manage and improve their operations at lower costs and offer innovative services.
Smart cards reduce transaction costs by eliminating paper and paper handling costs in hospitals and government benefit payment programs. Contact and contactless toll payment cards streamline toll collection procedures, reducing labor costs as well as delays caused by manual systems. Maintenance costs for vending machines, petroleum dispensers, parking meters and public phones are lowered while revenues could increase, about 30% in some estimates, due to the convenience of the smart card payment systems in these machines.
A smart card contains all the data needed to personalize networking, Web connection, payments and other applications. Using a smart card, one can establish a personalized network connection anywhere in the world using a phone center or an information kiosk. Web servers will verify the user's identity and present a customized Web page, an e-mail connection and other authorized services based on the data read from a smart card. Personal settings for electronic appliances, including computers, will be stored in smart cards rather than in the appliances themselves. Phone numbers are stored in smart cards instead of phones. While appliances become generic tools, users only carry a smart card as the ultimate networking and personal computing device.
Chip is tamper-resistant.
Information stored on the card can be PIN code and/or read-write protected.
The most common method used for cardholder verification at present is to give the cardholder a PIN (Personal Identification Number) which he or she has to remember.
Who can access the information
Everybody - Some smart cards require no password. Anyone holding the card can have access (e.g. the patient's name and blood type on a Medi Card can be read without the use of a password).
Card Holder Only - The most common form of password for card holders is a PIN (Personal Identification Number), a 4 or 5 digit number which is typed in on a key pad. Therefore, if an unauthorized individual tries to use the card, it will lock-up after 3 unsuccessful attempts to present the PIN code. More advanced types of passwords are being developed.
Third Party Only - Some smart cards can only be accessed by the party who issued it (e.g., an electronic purse can only be reloaded by the issuing bank).
How can the information be accessed
Information on a smart card can be divided into several sections:- read only, added only, updated only and no access available.
Capable of performing encryption.
Each smart card has its own, unique serial number.
Using biometrics for security.
In production systems using fingerprint recognition, the fingerprint sensor is in the terminal, but the fingerprint profile data may be either in the terminal side of the card-to-terminal interface, or preferably held within the card itself (a fingerprint profile takes up only a few hundred bytes of data space). Prototype cards where the fingerprint sensor is on the card surface are now in development and may one day be a commercial proposition. In the meantime, a number of major national schemes around the world are incorporating fingerprint biometrics using optical or proximity readers associated with keyboards, mice and point-of-sale terminals.
There are two types of personalisation.
The first one is the Electronic Personalisation, which means writing the data (particular data, fingerprint minutiae, variable data, etc.) into the chip.
The second is the Graphical Personalisation, which means printing the required optical layout on the card surface (Text, Photos, Signature, and Graphics).
Smart card is an excellent technology to secure storage and authentication. If an organization can deploy this technology selecting the right type of solutions which is cross platform compatible and supports the standards required, it would be economical as well as secure. This technology has to be standardized and used in various applications in an organization not just for physical access or information access. Various developments are happening in the smart card industry with respect to higher memory capacities and stronger encryption algorithms which could provide us with much tougher security. But we need to understand that we will achieve better security only if we have users educated to use these technology with at most care. A smart world is the future.
1. Information Technology Magazine - June 2003 edition.
2. Whatâ„¢s so smart about smart cards 2002,Gemplus C.A. http://www.gemplusbasics/index.html
3. "Understanding Smart Technology" Ahmed Qurram Baig, CSSP Jan 13, 2003.
5. Contactless Technology for Secure Physical Access: Technology and Standard Choices, Smart card Alliance, 2002. http://www.smartcardallianceContactless/whitepaper.cfm
6. Why Use a Biometric and a Card in the Same Device http://www.bitpipedata
7. "Smart Card Technical Capabilities" Won. J. Jun, Giesecke & Deverent July 8, 2003.
8. "Smart Cards - Enabling Smart Commerce in the Digital Age" http://www.smartcardsCREC-KPMG White Paper Smart Cards.htm
10. "Smart Card Basics and Security Overview" http://www.smartcardbasics.com
I express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Agnisarman Namboodiri, Head of Department of Information Technology, MES College of Engineering for his support to shape this paper in a systematic way.
I am greatly indebted to Mr. Saheer H and Ms. S.S. Deepa, lecturers in the Department of IT for their guidance and valuable advice that helped me in the preparation of this paper.
Lastly, I would like to thank all staff members of IT Department and all my friends for their suggestions and constrictive criticism.
a) An Introduction to Smart Cards
b) Definition of Smart Cards
2. EVOLUTION OF SMART CARDS
a) History of Smart Cards
b) Current trends
3. CLASSIFICATION OF SMART CARDS
a) Memory Cards
b) Microprocessor/Intelligent Smart Cards
4. CARD ACCEPTANCE DEVICE (CAD)
5. DIFFERENT CONTACT INTERFACES
a) Contact Smart Cards
b) Contactless Smart Cards
c) Combi/Dual Interface Smart Cards
6. ISO STANDARDS FOR SMART CARDS
a) Standard dimensions of a Smart Card
b) Contacts of the Smart Card module
7. TECHNOLOGICAL FEATURES
a) The Chip
b) Card Operating System(COS)
c) Smart Card Directory Features
d) Application Protocol Data Units(APDU)
8. FABRICATION OF SMART CARDS
9. APPLICATIONS OF SMART CARDS
10. BENEFITS OF SMART CARDS