Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

4/3/2008
08:55 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Next-Gen Crypto Method Will Help Secure Mobile Apps

Certicom will demo new Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC)-based mobile ticketing, RFID tag technologies at the RSA conference

The company whose founder was one of the creators of the next-generation encryption algorithm Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) will demonstrate new real-world deployments of the technology next week at the RSA Conference 2008 in San Francisco -- in new secure digital barcode and RFID tag implementations.

Certicom will demonstrate these ECC-based systems at its booth on the RSA Conference show floor. ECC is a streamlined public key encryption algorithm that uses fewer resources than its predecessor, RSA. “ECC gives you the most security per bit of any known public key scheme,” says Certicom’s founder and chief cryptographer Scott Vanstone.

ECC is also deployed in RIM BlackBerry email, Microsoft’s Vista operating system, and digital passports, and it is licensed by the National Security Agency, for instance. ECC uses smaller keys, which saves on computational, bandwidth, and power resources, says Vanstone, who helped create the technology. For 128-bit AES encryption, for example, ECC uses 256 bits for its passkeys, and RSA, 3,072 bits, he says. “And if you go to the 256-bit AES, you need 512 bits in ECC for that level of security, and over 15,000 bits of RSA for the equivalent security. You can see ECC scales linearly.”

BlackBerry devices, for example, have a 521-bit key. “If you wanted to use RSA instead, it would use 15,000 bits to get the same security level [as ECC],” Vanstone says.

Even so, adopting a new cryptographic platform not surprisingly has been a long process. ECC came on the scene in the mid-1980s, and although it’s gained momentum, RSA is still much more prevalent. But Certicom’s demonstrations at RSA of these two new commercial deployments of ECC signal that the algorithm is gaining ground. “ECC is coming into its own. It’s being widely deployed,” Vanstone says.

Certicom will demo ECC-based barcode technology developed by an unnamed client of Certicom’s -- as a solution for the pharmaceutical industry. The RFID tags are for tracking drugs through their distribution channel, and Certicom’s client needed multiple digital signatures to be stored on the tags, so it selected ECC. Vanstone says RSA would have only allowed one signature, while ECC gave them five.

The company also will show off a new mobile e-ticketing application it helped develop for a major airline that consists of a mobile “ticket” -- a bar code -- that can be read and authenticated via the display screen of the passenger’s handheld device.

Meanwhile, Vanstone says encryption adoption overall is no longer just a luxury. “Six years ago, security encryption was a ‘nice to have,’ and today it’s a must-have."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Certicom Corp. (Toronto: CIC)

    Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • Comments
    Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Navigating Security in the Cloud
    Diya Jolly, Chief Product Officer, Okta,  12/4/2019
    Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
    White Papers
    Video
    Cartoon Contest
    Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
    Latest Comment: "The security team seem to be taking SiegeWare seriously" 
    Current Issue
    Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
    In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
    Flash Poll
    Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
    Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
    Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
    Twitter Feed
    Dark Reading - Bug Report
    Bug Report
    Enterprise Vulnerabilities
    From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
    CVE-2019-16770
    PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
    A poorly-behaved client could use keepalive requests to monopolize Puma's reactor and create a denial of service attack. If more keepalive connections to Puma are opened than there are threads available, additional connections will wait permanently if the attacker sends requests frequently enough.
    CVE-2019-19609
    PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
    The Strapi framework before 3.0.0-beta.17.8 is vulnerable to Remote Code Execution in the Install and Uninstall Plugin components of the Admin panel, because it does not sanitize the plugin name, and attackers can inject arbitrary shell commands to be executed by the execa function.
    CVE-2019-16768
    PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
    Exception messages from internal exceptions (like database exception) are wrapped by \Symfony\Component\Security\Core\Exception\AuthenticationServiceException and propagated through the system to UI. Therefore, some internal system information may leak and be visible to the customer. A validation m...
    CVE-2012-1105
    PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
    An Information Disclosure vulnerability exists in the Jasig Project php-pear-CAS 1.2.2 package in the /tmp directory. The Central Authentication Service client library archives the debug logging file in an insecure manner.
    CVE-2019-16769
    PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
    Affected versions of this package are vulnerable to Cross-site Scripting (XSS). It does not properly mitigate against unsafe characters in serialized regular expressions. This vulnerability is not affected on Node.js environment since Node.js's implementation of RegExp.prototype.toString() backslash...