Smart card manufacturers Giesecke & Devrient and Oberthur Technologies S.A., and chip suppliers Infineon Technologies AG and INSIDE Contactless S.A. announced they have launched an industry initiative to provide a new security solution for next-generation smart card-based public transport applications.
The solution will build on an open standard now being implemented by the four partner companies, which will eventually be governed by an independent body. 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 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, according to INSIDE Contactless.
Through independent testing, the open standard should also provide interoperability to enable simple and fast integration into public transport projects. The first emulation chips and transportation smart cards using the standard are scheduled to be available by the end of 2010.
The industry initiative is based on groundwork performed by Infineon, a chip card IC (integrated circuits) provider. Infineon has developed a hardware-based security system specifically suited for public transportation smart card applications. It is comprised of a specific authentication scheme using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 128-bit key length and file types and command sets based on the ISO/IEC 7816 standard.
Employing AES, an encryption algorithm also used for commercial transaction, should significantly increase security over flimsier security schemes widely used in current public transportation systems. Using the encryption and secure messaging feature for authentication, data encryption and Message Authentication Coding (MACing) allows high flexibility and fast adoption for different applications.
Chip maker INSIDE Contactless has already signed an agreement with Infineon to implement the security platform for its chip. In addition, two of the world’s largest card manufacturers, G&D and Oberthur Technologies, have already agreed to develop public transport applications based on the platform.