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Open specs seek to standardize integrated secure elements

April 03, 2019

Susan Nordyk-April 03, 2019

Setting the standard for secure digital services and devices, GlobalPlatform releases the first open specifications to facilitate the standardization of integrated secure elements. According to the organization, chip, device, and firmware developers now have a standardized means to load and manage firmware, combining the secure operating system, applications, and data in a secure and isolated area of a device’s system-on-chip (SoC).

“Integration of a tamper-resistant platform is a recent feature of SoC technology, which brings new opportunities and challenges,” says Gil Bernabeu, Technical Director at GlobalPlatform. “For example, with these new SoCs, data in the secure memory may not remain when the device is switched off, so a standardized mechanism is needed to securely reload the sensitive data when the device restarts. In parallel, the tamper-resistant platform in a SoC must meet the required security levels and offer the same security services as today’s secure elements to provide standardized services to service providers.”

GlobalPlatform has published two documents that are free for downloading: Open Firmware Loader and Virtual Primary Platform. Open Firmware Loader standardizes how firmware can be loaded and managed in a tamper-resistant hardware platform. The Virtual Primary Platform document defines the security services running on a tamper-resistant platform, called a Virtual Primary Platform (VPP). The VPP creates a standardized virtual version of the hardware platform that allows developers to build secure solutions and deploy them across a variety of products.

>> This article was originally published on our sister site, EEWeb: "GlobalPlatform Aims to Standardize Integrated Secure Elements."

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