Zero-knowledge authentication protocols are an alternative to authentication protocols based on public key cryptography. Low processing and memory consumption make them especially suitable for implementation in smart card microprocessors, which are severely limited in processing power and memory space. This paper describes a design and implementation of a software library providing smart card application developers with a reliable authentication mechanism based on well-known zero-knowledge authentication schemes. Java Card is used as the target smart card platform implementation based on the evaluation of the Fiat-Shamir (F-S) and Guillou-Quisquater (G-Q) protocols under various performance criteria are presented to show the effectiveness of the implementation and that G-Q is a more efficient protocol.
A smartcard looks like a normal credit card with a chip embedded in it. Smartcards can be divided into three main categories according to the capabilities of the chip:
Memory cards, which can just store data and have no data processing capabilities.
Wired Logic Intelligent Memory cards, which contain also some built-in logic, usually used to control the access to the memory of the card.
Processor cards, which contain memory and processor and have data processing capabilities.
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