Consortium To Develop Advanced Transport System Smart Cards

Munich, Germany: Smart-card manufacturers Giesecke & Devrient GmbH (G&D) and Oberthur Technologies SA have teamed with chip suppliers Infineon Technologies and Inside Contactless SA to launch an industry initiative to provide a new security solution for next-generation public transport applications based on smart cards.

The solution will build on an open standard now being implemented by the four partner companies. An independent body eventually will govern the standard. Companies active in the smart-card arena—providers of chips, smart cards, application-specific operating software, reader devices, and transportation systems—are invited to join the initiative for the advancement of more secure public transportation applications.

The new standard promises to bring a number of key benefits to both public transport agencies and smart-card industry players, including higher performance and advanced system security for public transport applications, as well as the availability of multiple sources for chip products.

Through independent testing, the open standard will also provide optimized interoperability to enable simple and fast integration into public transport schemes. The first emulation chips and transportation smart cards using this standard are scheduled to be available by the end of 2010.

The industry initiative is based on groundwork performed by Infineon, which has developed a hardware-based security system specifically suited for public transportation smart-card applications. It comprises a specific authentication scheme using the open Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 128-bit key length and file types and command sets based on the ISO/IEC 7816 standard.

According to Infineon, employing AES will increase security. Using the encryption and secure messaging scheme for authentication, data encryption, and Message Authentication Coding (MACing) allows flexibility and fast adoption for different applications.

Infineon, which has already started its own chip development based on the open standard security system. The company also has verified the feasibility of the authentication scheme, enabling the other manufacturers to start their development work immediately.

Fabless semiconductor company Inside Contactless has already signed an agreement with Infineon to implement the security scheme for its chip platforms. In addition, two of the world’s top three card manufacturers, G&D and Oberthur Technologies, have already agreed to develop public transport applications based on the scheme.

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