Computer Laboratory Home Page Search A-Z Directory Help
University of Cambridge Home Computer Laboratory
Computer Laboratory > Abstracts

Seminars will be held in the Lecture Theatre 1 - William Gates Building, Computer Laboratory at 4.15pm
See also: for other meetings

Smartcard Defence Technologies

Simon Moore

Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge

The mass adoption of embedded computing devices (mobile phones, PDAs, smartcards, etc) is moving us rapidly into the ubiquitous computing age. If these devices are to be a boon rather than a bane then robustness is critical. Security will be increasingly important, not only for traditional roles like payment mechanisms and access control, but also for peer to peer transactions and new business structures.

Smartcards are an early embodiment of consumer security devices. They present a harder target for the criminal underworld than their magnetic strip counterparts. However, for several years now it has been know that microprocessors can leak a lot of useful information through power and electromagnetic emissions. These emissions (often referred to as "side channels") are characteristic of conventional clocked digital circuit designs. Fault injection techniques have also been used to trick devices into fault modes which leak additional information.

As part of an EU funded project (G3Card) we have been collaborating with industrial and academic partners to develop technologies for the 3rd Generation of Smartcards. In Cambridge we have played both black hat and white hat roles so that we can evaluate what we have designed in much the same way that a good locksmith must also understand how to be a good lock pick. This lecture will review our design strategies, from concept to VLSI implementation. Results will be presented from formal verification of components to bench experiments on naked chips.

Wednesday Seminars

Click here for previous seminars.
For further information contact:-
Email: Tel: 01223 331786 Fax: 01223 334678