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A SCHEME FOR PROTECTING STORE AND FORWARD INFORMATION

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000006668D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Jan-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 123K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Greg Cannon: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The following explains the use of local encryption as a tool to protect infomx&n received and stored within a data receiver that needs to be downloaded to a com- puter. Since the data receiver can be effectively and eas- ily used by any user, it is vulnerable to a security breach before the information has been completely transferred to the computer or has been read from a display on the pager. The use of encryption as a means of protection, while well known for the transmission of information, can be effectively applied to the short term storage of received information within the data receiver, before the information is used or stored into a more permanent location like a computer file. This technology, along with system control over the keys, can provide an additional level of security for information at a weak link in the information system.

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MO7WROLA INC. Technical Developments Volume 17 December 1992

A SCHEME FOR PROTECTING STORE AND FORWARD INFORMATION

by Greg Cannon and Bill Macko

ABSTRACT

  The following explains the use of local encryption as a tool to protect infomx&n received and stored within a data receiver that needs to be downloaded to a com- puter. Since the data receiver can be effectively and eas- ily used by any user, it is vulnerable to a security breach before the information has been completely transferred to the computer or has been read from a display on the pager. The use of encryption as a means of protection, while well known for the transmission of information, can be effectively applied to the short term storage of received information within the data receiver, before the information is used or stored into a more permanent location like a computer file. This technology, along with system control over the keys, can provide an additional level of security for information at a weak link in the information system.

INTRODUCTION

  Information security is an issue in communications that continues to grow in importance as the reliance upon an information infrastructure grows. As more people subscribe to information services, and as more people use more economic means of transfening large amounts of information, it is inevitable that sensitive information will be transferred over public networks and received into accessible information stores. Encryption is a fairly standard method of protecting information as it is being transmitted, but little attention has been dedicated to protecting the received information, once the decryption of the message has taken place. In particular, if a pager is used as a data receiver, then the information that resides in the pager can be obtained by simply reading the mes- sage, since the pager would already have performed the

decryption on the incoming message. Stealing pagers is an easy method of obtaining sensitive information. Sen- sitive data that is received in a device that later will allow examination of that data an unknown number of times can easily be compromised. The data can be received by the correct recipient, but if the recipient does not actively delete the received data, that data could then be

later retrieved by another user of that device For a pager, or more speciiically, for an rf data demodulator that is capable of storing large amounts of data for a long time before any data is ever transferred to a host computer for later processing, the problem is even further compounded, since excepting password protection, the data is very accessible to anyone who can get to the device. Addition&, the processing constraints of a pager require that the encryption process is very simple and still complex enough to deter people from breaking the encryption scheme.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

  Data is transferred to the pager via known rf tech- nology. That data is stored in memory. If that data is later transferred to a...