A Perspective on Using Blockchain for Ensuring Security in Smart Card Systems

A Perspective on Using Blockchain for Ensuring Security in Smart Card Systems

Ankur Lohachab
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8407-0.ch019
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Due to the momentous growth in the field of Internet of Things (IoT), various commercial and government organizations are exploring possibilities of mass issuance of smart cards in different applications. Widespread deployment of smart card-based systems in heterogeneous environment would facilitate card holders to participate in these applications in a personalized manner. Despite the security features, valuable data and access to decisive services make these systems prime target for attackers. These systems can be subjected to a range of security attacks – from hardware exploitation to exploitation of software bugs, from unauthorized data access to social engineering, and so forth. In the future, where many sectors will be trying to adopt the concept of Blockchain, it will create new opportunities for benefiting citizens with enhanced security over their data. In this chapter, the author performs in-depth analysis over the role of Blockchain in securing the smart card ecosystem.
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Introduction of the concept of smartness in technology is bringing more promising solutions to the modern digital world. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are taking the form of Internet of Things (IoT), chip cards are getting transformed into smart cards, and so forth. By addressing the issues of advanced underlying technologies like WSN, IoT further extends the idea of inter-connected networks by embedding networking features into physical world objects. In a similar fashion, smart cards also extend the concept of chips cards by making them more resourceful. Although magnetic-stripe enabled cards remained popular for around 30 years, industries over time have realized the need of storing more static data over the card itself. However, due to certain limitations as given in Table 1, magnetic-stripe cards are not considered as a reliable choice.

Table 1.
Magnetic-stripe cards and limitations
SecurityThese cards provide minimal level of security because it is easy to read and write data from these cards very easily. Hence, information can be easily stolen and the card can be easily duplicated.
StorageThese cards have limited amount of storage and thus can store only limited amount of information.
FunctionalityMagnetic stripe cards support restricted functionality and thus, are not suitable for many real-time applications.
Biometric information storage and matchingThese cards cannot store biometric templates of users as well as do not support on-card biometric matching.
Data diversityThese cards are not capable of storing diverse types of data.
Digital signature storageThese cards cannot store digital signature for enabling efficient auditing process.
Two-factor authenticationThese cards do not support two-factor authentication.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): RFID technology utilized electromagnetic waves for identifying and tracking the tags attached to the objects.

Double-Spending: Double-spending is a flaw in which a digital currency or single digital token is spent twice.

Internet of Things (IoT): IoT can be defined as an idea of interconnecting everyday life objects through Internet, which gives them the capability to transmit data and information.

Blockchain: Blockchain may be defined as a digital ledger that records the transactions associated with bitcoin or any other crypto-currency in chronological order and publicly.

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs): WSNs are defined as collection of sensors that are spatially distributed and are dedicated to perform certain functions including monitoring the environmental conditions through wireless links.

Smart Cards: Smart cards are pocket-sized computers that contain one or more integrated chips that facilitate these cards with storage, processing, and input/output interface.

Ethereum: It is a public or open source blockchain-based decentralized computing platform that features smart contract functionality.

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