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Cryptographic smart cards

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2 Author(s)
D. Naccache ; Dept. of Cryptography, Gemplus PSI, Sarcelles, France ; D. M'Raihi

Smart cards have the tremendous advantage over their magnetic-stripe ancestors of being able to execute cryptographic algorithms in their internal circuitry. This means that the user's secrets (be these PIN codes or keys) never have to leave the boundaries of the tamper-resistant silicon chip, which brings maximum security to the overall system in which the cards participate. Smart cards also provide special-purpose microcontrollers with built-in, self-programmable memory. Together, these features make the cost of a malevolent attack far greater than the benefits. in 1996, 600 million IC cards will be manufactured throughout the world. This article surveys the existing crypto-dedicated microprocessors and describes some of their possible evolutions

Published in:

IEEE Micro  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 3 )