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New Electronic Passport Security Demonstrated by Fraunhofer and Infineon

Written by Stephen Vicinanza

Infineon made the announcement just about two weeks ago that it was working with Fraunhofer AISEC on new quantum-era electronic passport security systems. The new electronic passport security was demonstrated by Fraunhofer, Infineon, and the German Printing Office, at Trustech.

Trustech is an event for identification solutions and innovations in payment processing technology. The three collaborators presented the first electronic passport that meets the requirements for the security of the quantum era of computing.

Quantum computers, now found around the world, could present a threat to electronic documents that are accepted worldwide. This would include passports, ticketing for airports, and trains, and a number of customs documents. Experts are reporting that these threats could become a reality by the end of the decade.

New quantum-secure encryption is set to help this major issue, and Infineon is a significant player is its resolution.

Dr. Manfred Paeschke, Chief Visionary Officer at Bundesdruckerei GmbH (German Federal Printing Office), said: “Our solution shows how durable ID documents can be protected from attacks by quantum computers while at the same time compatibility with existing systems is preserved.”

“Today we are launching the encryption procedures which will be needed to repel quantum computer attacks of tomorrow,” said Maurizio Skerlj, Vice President and head of Infineon’s Identity Solution Product Line. “Working together with our collaboration partners at the German Federal Printing Office and Fraunhofer AISEC, we have succeeded in efficiently implementing quantum-resistant encryption procedures and making them available for use in practice.” The heart of the demonstrator is a security controller from Infineon which protects data from both conventional attacks and attacks that use quantum computers.

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Fraunhofer AISEC’s Professor Marian Margraf said: “The core of our demonstrator uses the cryptographic methods Dilithium and Kyber, which the US national standardization institute NIST selected in July 2022 after a worldwide competition for post-quantum cryptography. Based on that, we developed protocols for the passport that were then subjected to a further independent security evaluation.”

The demonstration should a solution that would be resistant to quantum computer interference between the ePass and the border checkpoint terminal. It is a version of the Extended Access Control (EAC) protocol and also secures biometric data during authentication.

This solution would be contactless for all transaction points. The security measures in this project were tested and are compatible with already established processes and structures, and can also initiate and implement quantum-resistant encryption.

The entire demonstration process placed a great deal of emphasis on international participation by standardizing regulatory bodies and organizations. This would help ensure worldwide implementation for everyone.

Infineon | infineon.com

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For the past 8 years, I have been writing about embedded technologies, added to my technical, academic, and medical editorial experience, with companies like Elsevier and Cambridge University Press. I tell people to read what I write, not try to pronounce my last name. I am always available for comments and suggestions you can reach me at product-editor@circuitcellar.com and I promise I will take the time to reach back out to you. I live in the North East with my wonderful family.

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New Electronic Passport Security Demonstrated by Fraunhofer and I…

by Stephen Vicinanza time to read: 2 min