Clock System for Enhancing the Security of Chip Cards (SmartCards)
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jan-26
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Owners of chip cards face the problem that they may lose the card either by forgetfulness, by accident or because of criminal acts. It is possible that a lost or stolen card may be used for unlawful purposes. Proposed is the fitting of personal effect such as purses, bill folds, bags, clothes, jewelry, passports, and the like with a cradle containing a second chip plus an energy source to provide a clock and an identification mechanism. The main chip card, when placed in the cradle, is identified by the secondary chip and receives therefrom at regular intervals a time signal which is stored as the last transmitted time. When the chip card is removed from the cradle and is used for example in an automatic teller machine (ATM), the last transmitted time recorded is read by the ATM. The last transmitted time may also be read by other receivers for the chip card. If the time period between the removal and the time period of use is longer than a preset period, such as 5 minutes, the card will lose its validity. This solves the problem of loss or theft of chip cards in a cheap, simple, and flexible manner. The solution is applicable to a range of different devices and receivers. Several classes of security level can be defined. A card can be revalidated in certain cases. The chip card cradle may be adapted to carry a multiple cards like a purse. The same function may be integrated into another device such as a watch or mobile phone as a "heart beat" security device. Conventional solutions involve Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and finger print identification. Disadvantages with these solutions are well known. US Patent 6,145,035 describes a card cradle system in which an energy supply and memory is transferred to a card in full. The card has a volatile memory which is emptied rapidly once the card is removed from the cradle. Additionally an alarm may triggered at this time. A similar system is described in WO/00025160, in which a pair of smart cards cooperate in the completion of a transaction.