Connecting NFC to the cloud - Remote updating of smart cards

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School of Science |
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108 s. + liitt. 18
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a low-power low-bandwidth short-range wireless communication technology with automatic pairing. An NFC device such as an NFC-enabled mobile phone, communicates with another NFC device or with a tag by bringing the two devices together, an act known as the touch paradigm. The most popular of the three NFC operating modes is reader-writer in which the mobile phone receives data from the tag but does not write into it. The purpose of this project is to research a new usage model for the reader-writer operating mode, where the NFC-enabled mobile phone not only reads from but also writes into the tag, according with instructions dictated by a remote server. We start by studying the functionality of the MIFARE DESfire EV1 smart card. We then create a set of requirements for a system capable of remotely updating files on a card application of a DESFire EV1 and devise a remote update protocol that satisfies those requirements. This protocol is evaluated through a prototype we built as a proof of concept, which in turn is subject to experiments in a cloud provider. This project demonstrates that it is feasible for a remote server to update the files contained in a card application of a DESFire EV1 via an NFC-enabled mobile phone, and that this can be accomplished in a reliable and secure way. We analyse the failures that may affect the remote update protocol and provide a solution to those failures leading to a robust protocol. Its security comes from the use of encrypted communication between server and mobile phone, from the use of the enciphered communication mode of DESFire EV1 between the mobile phone and the smart card, and from the fact that the mobile phone does not have access to the secret keys required to read and update the data stored on the card application.
Aura, Tuomas
Pupo Correia, Miguel
Thesis advisor
Tamrakar, Sandeep
nfc, reader-writer operating mode, remote update protocol, remote server, secure protocol, mifare desfire ev1 smart card
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