Designing a Secure Smart Card Operating System

The ever-increasing computational power of smart cards has made them feasible for applications like electronic passports and military id cards. However, these applications require a secure smart card operating system.

In this paper we argue that smart card platforms pose additional security challenges than traditional computer platforms. We discuss our design for a secure smart card operating system, called Caernarvon, and show it addresses these challenges, such as secure application download, protecting cryptographic functions from potentially malicious applications, resolving covert channel issues, assuring both security and data integrity in the face of arbitrary power losses, etc.

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

Published in: RC24531 in 2008


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