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An Apparatus for Hardware Based Data Encryption in Mobile Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241459D
Publication Date: 2015-May-01
Document File: 5 page(s) / 91K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is an apparatus for loosely coupled hardware based encryption for a mobile device. The hardware-based module has the encryption pin integrated into it and connects as a sleeve or jacket-style case into which the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card is inserted; thus, the novel process takes control over electrical communication and ensures data security.

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An Apparatus for Hardware Based Data Encryption in Mobile Device

Mobile security is a main topic of concern for an enterprise . Corporate data that is stored in employees' devices posts a potential security risk (e.g., becoming lost, stolen or accessed by unauthorized personnel). Of the many solutions that address mobile data security, software based encryption and hardware based encryption are used to protect data stored on mobile devices.

For enterprise purposes, a software-based approach is inadequate because it is easily intercepted or corrupted. A secure device must have a trusted root component (i.e. a trusted starting point that cannot be corrupted or otherwise impeached ). All other security operations can then be derived using the trust root as the first component , establishing a chain of trust that ensures trust for all subsequent operations . For mobile devices, the purely software-based approach cannot ensure a trusted root that is strong enough to provide enterprise-level data protection.

The proposed solution is to provide a hardware-based module that can be readily added to most common mobile devices via the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card connector. The novel contribution is an apparatus for loosely coupled hardware based encryption for a mobile device. The SIM card connector is almost universally supported by mobile devices; cellular service carriers use the SIM cards to link and activate a mobile device on the carrier's network. The novel solution uses this connector as an intermediary point at which to insert physical cryptography hardware into the device. It then performs as the trusted root for all subsequent cryptographic operations .

The behavior of existing SIM card interfaces can be extended by intercepting the physical connection between the SIM card and the mobile device 's contact points. The SIM has a well-defined set of electrical contact points that link the physical card to the mobile device. In addition, the binary communication protocol is well defined.

Based on these assumptions, the proposed hardware-based module forms a physical connection between the card and the mobile device 's contact pins. The module connects as a sleeve or jacket-style case into which the SIM card is inserted. The

jacket has the encryption pin integrated to it. Then, the combined SIM and new module are inserted into the mobile device. All traffic going onto the device is filtered and the desired data is encrypted using the encryption code provided in the jacket's security module. Data sent to the device for reading is decrypted via the same hardwired circuitry.

The novel hardware module is physically implemented and transparently injected into the communications chain, enabling its reliable use as a trusted root for security purposes. It can provide encryption services as well as a physically secure storage facility for encryption keys and identification credentials. In addition, the hardware module can be moved a...