Study of Smartcards Technology: Structure, Standards, Threats, Solutions, and Applications

Study of Smartcards Technology: Structure, Standards, Threats, Solutions, and Applications

Shaifali Narayan (National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, India) and Brij B. Gupta (National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2242-4.ch017

Abstract

Smart cards have gained popularity in many domains by providing different facilities in every domain. Such cards are beneficial for storing credentials and access information. The cards are easy to carry and provides easy and fast computations. The cards have certain limitations due to the possible attacks on them. This chapter gives an overview of the smartcards including its history, physical design, life cycle. It also provides an overview of the possible threats on smartcards and its application area.
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1. Introduction

The development of smartcards allowed the user to carry the information securely and perform the operation easily. Smartcards based applications enables the storage, manipulations and transmission of the user data over the internet in a secure way. Smartcard based applications have gained popularity in both public and private sectors because of the convenience in usage, adaptability and other benefits. (Taherdoost, Hamed, Shahibuddin & Jalaliyoon, 2011) discussed that smartcards are the intelligent token which is identical to the credit card along with the integrated circuit present in its body. It contains memory unit and has computational capability which make it resistant to attack. These cards are cost effective and multifunction, which can be used for user identification and can also be used for physical and logical access (Chen & Shi, 2016).

There are primarily four kinds of smartcards based on card reader interaction - contact, contactless, dual interface and hybrid cards (Gupta & Quamara, 2018). The chip on a smart card can be either an embedded memory chip or a microcontroller. Smart cards are intended to be resistant to manipulation and use encryption to protect data in memory. These microcontroller chip cards can execute on-card processing tasks and can manipulate data in the memory of the chip (Rouse, 2018). Smart card schemes have been shown to be more reliable than other machine-readable cards, such as magnetic stripe and barcode, with many studies indicating improvements in card read life and reader life showing much reduced system maintenance costs (CardLogix, 2010). Smart cards also provide essential system safety elements for information exchange across nearly any network type. From careless storage of user passwords to advanced system hacks, they safeguard against a complete spectrum of safety threats. The cost of managing password resets for an organisation or business is very high, making smart cards in these settings a cost-effective alternative.

The cards were used to provide user identification and can also be used for logical and physical access as they are the cost-effective multi-function cards. But with time, the application of smartcard got increased. With the ease provided by smartcards, they are now broadly used from secure payment applications like credit and debit cards, public transport system (Markantonakis, Mayes, Sauveron & Askoxylykis, 2008) to user identification and authentication applications like smart health cards (Aubert & Hamel, 2001; Hsu et al., 2011), employee cards (Chen & Shi, 2016), membership cards (Conlon and Whitacre, 2005), IoT (Vanderhoof, 2017; Gupta & Quamara, 2018); mobile based applications as Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card for making paid television connections, purchasing goods, etc (Zkik, Orhanou & Hajji, 2017; Nedjah, Wyant, Mourella & Gupta, 2017; Gupta & Quamara, 2019; Tewari & Gupta, 2017; Gupta, Agarwal & Yamaguchi, 2016). For the smartcard-based applications to control the access, dynamic security policies were proposed (Gupta & Quamara, 2018).

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