Java Card Forum

The Java Card Forum is an industry association of companies from the smart card, secure operating system and secure silicon industry, working together to promote and develop Java as the preferred programming language for multi-application smart cards, secure devices and other execution environments.

Why G+D uses Java Card technology in their StarSign Key Fob; a unique biometric access device

Enterprises and employees alike find passwords and PINs to access corporate facilities or assets cumbersome, whilst being increasingly worried about its security. Authentication with passwords are a big problem, as many people use less than 5 passwords for all accounts, or use simple passwords because they are easier to remember, or write their passwords down on paper.

FIDO Alliance defined ways for overcome these problems of password authentication and other restrictions. The free and open standard, addresses many authentication use cases e.g. using security keys, multi factors, fingerprints, facial recognition, etc. and allows a simpler and stronger authentication with public key cryptography. No information fishing, no stored secrets on the server-side, no third party protocols are necessary, and the key material and biometrics are stored on the device only. The presented StarSign KeyFob Token by Giesecke+Devrient (one of the JCF Members) combines FIDO’s authentication with a personal fingerprint identification in a single device, as a convenient and secure two-factor authenticator. 

The heart of the battery powered key fob is the Java Card Sm@rt Café Expert, as Java Card technology is predestined to support all the different applications and enables the required features, e.g. the personal identification of the holder. 

The Java Card securely stores numerous independent applications relying on the integrated access control. All these applications can be loaded on the platform by using secure GlobalPlatform means, even in the field with DSEM/SCP11c. The Java Card API and its services are used by new and existing applications and specific Java Card mechanisms e.g. “shared interfaces” allows the applet services. Java Card also supports different transmission interfaces and for example the biometric services are helpful for such a personal device.

The StarSign KeyFob implements, besides others, the FIDO application and includes a state-of-the art alternative for a convenient and secure two-factor authentication, by using a single device and fingerprint identification – all in the coin-like dimensions of a key fob.

The StarSign Key Fob is the industry’s unique biometric token that supports both logical and physical access control securely and seamlessly, by supporting a wide range of communication channels including NFC, USB and Bluetooth Low Energy. It not only authenticates users while accessing desktop PCs, notebooks, workstations, tablet PCs, smartphones or IoT devices, but also authorizes physical access to buildings, departments or offices. With this, the StarSign KeyFob covers many essential use cases in enterprise environments.

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Author: Karen B

Karen has been working in the high-tech industry for over 25 years covering system support, event management, corporate publishing and secretariat support for special interest groups. As well as running the UK office, she is the Marketing & Operations Secretariat for the Java Card Forum. She is currently based in the UK.

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