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An in-circuit security system and methods for controlling access to and use of sensitive data

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Publication number
CA2724292C
CA2724292C CA 2724292 CA2724292A CA2724292C CA 2724292 C CA2724292 C CA 2724292C CA 2724292 CA2724292 CA 2724292 CA 2724292 A CA2724292 A CA 2724292A CA 2724292 C CA2724292 C CA 2724292C
Authority
CA
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
security
circuit
credential
identity
subsystem
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active
Application number
CA 2724292
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
CA2724292A1 (en )
Inventor
Barry W. Johnson
Jonathan A. Tillack
Kristen R. Olvera
David R. Russell
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Apple Inc
Original Assignee
Privaris Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Grant date

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L63/00Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security
    • H04L63/08Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security for supporting authentication of entities communicating through a packet data network
    • H04L63/0823Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security for supporting authentication of entities communicating through a packet data network using certificates
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRICAL DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30244Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor in image databases
    • G06F17/3028Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor in image databases data organisation and access thereof
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRICAL DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F21/00Security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F21/10Protecting distributed programs or content, e.g. vending or licensing of copyrighted material
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRICAL DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F21/00Security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F21/30Authentication, i.e. establishing the identity or authorisation of security principals
    • G06F21/31User authentication
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRICAL DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F21/00Security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F21/30Authentication, i.e. establishing the identity or authorisation of security principals
    • G06F21/31User authentication
    • G06F21/32User authentication using biometric data, e.g. fingerprints, iris scans or voiceprints
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRICAL DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F21/00Security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F21/60Protecting data
    • G06F21/62Protecting access to data via a platform, e.g. using keys or access control rules
    • G06F21/6209Protecting access to data via a platform, e.g. using keys or access control rules to a single file or object, e.g. in a secure envelope, encrypted and accessed using a key, or with access control rules appended to the object itself
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRICAL DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F21/00Security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F21/70Protecting specific internal or peripheral components, in which the protection of a component leads to protection of the entire computer
    • G06F21/71Protecting specific internal or peripheral components, in which the protection of a component leads to protection of the entire computer to assure secure computing or processing of information
    • G06F21/72Protecting specific internal or peripheral components, in which the protection of a component leads to protection of the entire computer to assure secure computing or processing of information in cryptographic circuits
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRICAL DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F21/00Security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F21/70Protecting specific internal or peripheral components, in which the protection of a component leads to protection of the entire computer
    • G06F21/71Protecting specific internal or peripheral components, in which the protection of a component leads to protection of the entire computer to assure secure computing or processing of information
    • G06F21/75Protecting specific internal or peripheral components, in which the protection of a component leads to protection of the entire computer to assure secure computing or processing of information by inhibiting the analysis of circuitry or operation
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRICAL DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F21/00Security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F21/70Protecting specific internal or peripheral components, in which the protection of a component leads to protection of the entire computer
    • G06F21/82Protecting input, output or interconnection devices
    • G06F21/85Protecting input, output or interconnection devices interconnection devices, e.g. bus-connected or in-line devices
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K9/00Methods or arrangements for reading or recognising printed or written characters or for recognising patterns, e.g. fingerprints
    • G06K9/00006Acquiring or recognising fingerprints or palmprints
    • G06K9/00013Image acquisition
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K9/00Methods or arrangements for reading or recognising printed or written characters or for recognising patterns, e.g. fingerprints
    • G06K9/00006Acquiring or recognising fingerprints or palmprints
    • G06K9/00087Matching; Classification
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K9/00Methods or arrangements for reading or recognising printed or written characters or for recognising patterns, e.g. fingerprints
    • G06K9/62Methods or arrangements for recognition using electronic means
    • G06K9/6201Matching; Proximity measures
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L63/00Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security
    • H04L63/06Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security for supporting key management in a packet data network
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L63/00Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security
    • H04L63/08Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security for supporting authentication of entities communicating through a packet data network
    • H04L63/0861Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security for supporting authentication of entities communicating through a packet data network using biometrical features, e.g. fingerprint, retina-scan
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L63/00Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security
    • H04L63/10Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security for controlling access to network resources
    • H04L63/102Entity profiles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L9/00Cryptographic mechanisms or cryptographic arrangements for secret or secure communication
    • H04L9/32Cryptographic mechanisms or cryptographic arrangements for secret or secure communication including means for verifying the identity or authority of a user of the system or for message authentication, e.g. authorization, entity authentication, data integrity or data verification, non-repudiation, key authentication or verification of credentials
    • H04L9/3226Cryptographic mechanisms or cryptographic arrangements for secret or secure communication including means for verifying the identity or authority of a user of the system or for message authentication, e.g. authorization, entity authentication, data integrity or data verification, non-repudiation, key authentication or verification of credentials using a predetermined code, e.g. password, passphrase or PIN
    • H04L9/3231Biological data, e.g. fingerprint, voice or retina
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/25Management operations performed by the server for facilitating the content distribution or administrating data related to end-users or client devices, e.g. end-user or client device authentication, learning user preferences for recommending movies
    • H04N21/258Client or end-user data management, e.g. managing client capabilities, user preferences or demographics, processing of multiple end-users preferences to derive collaborative data
    • H04N21/25866Management of end-user data
    • H04N21/25875Management of end-user data involving end-user authentication
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/43Processing of content or additional data, e.g. demultiplexing additional data from a digital video stream; Elementary client operations, e.g. monitoring of home network, synchronizing decoder's clock; Client middleware
    • H04N21/441Acquiring end-user identification e.g. using personal code sent by the remote control or by inserting a card
    • H04N21/4415Acquiring end-user identification e.g. using personal code sent by the remote control or by inserting a card using biometric characteristics of the user, e.g. by voice recognition or fingerprint scanning
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRICAL DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F2221/00Indexing scheme relating to security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F2221/07Indexing scheme relating to G06F21/10, protecting distributed programs or content
    • G06F2221/0757Licence
    • G06F2221/0771Revocation

Abstract

The invention disclosed herein is an in-circuit security system (100) for electronic devices. The in-circuit security system (100) incorporates identity credential verification (103), secure data and instruction storage, and secure data transmission capabilities. It comprises a single semiconductor chip, and is secured using industry-established mechanisms for preventing information tampering or eavesdropping, such as the addition of oxygen reactive layers. This invention also incorporates means for establishing security settings, profiles, and responses for the in-circuit security system (100) and enrolled individuals. The in- circuit security system (100) can be used in a variety of electronic devices, including handheld computers, secure facility keys, vehicle operation/ignition systems, and digital rights management.

Description

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TITLE
An In-circuit Security System and Methods for Controlling Access to and Use of Sensitive Data RELATED U.S. APPLICATION DATA
[01] This application claims priority under USC 119(e) of provisional patent application Serial No. 601474,750 entitled, "Secure Biometric Identification Devices and Systems for Various Applications BACKGROUND) OF THE INVENTION
FIELD OF THE INVENTION:

[02] The invention disclosed herein relates to the security of sensitive data stored, processed and distributed using electronic circuits. More particularly, the invention relates to the identification of individuals prior to accessing/using data, and the execution of security controls upon =authorized attempts to access/use said data.

[03] In recent years there has been an explosion of electronic devices that individuals may use for storing and transmitting sensitive data. In a low-security example, portable devices like a Palm or BlackBerry handheld computer typically contain software for e-mail, along with options for storing credit cards, schedules, and other data. Most people wish to protect this information, but most handheld devices rely on their operating system to secure data.
Unfortunately, the most common operating systems for these handheld computers were not designed with security as the main goal, and retrofitting basic security mechanisms has been clumsy.

[04] A growing number of electronic devices, such as smart cards, arc intended to specifically identify and authenticate users using the public key infrastructure, which requires

5 secure storage of private keys. These devices are common in building security;
for example, an individual with proper authorization to access a facility is assigned a smart card and an asymmetric key pair. A certificate authority generates a digital certificate for the public key, which is stored in the smart card. The private key is also stored on the smart card. When the individual places his smart card in the reader at the access point of the facility, the card transmits its digital certificate, and the reader challenges the card to encrypt a supplied string with the individual's private key. The reader obtains the public key out of the digital certificate and decrypts the private key-encrypted string to verify that the keys are related.
This has an inherent problem because there is no guarantee that the individual using the private key is the assigned owner of the smart card. Furthermore, it is fairly simple for an experienced attacker to gain access to keys stored on the card.
[05] Some handheld devices, such as Hewlett Packard's iPAQ PocketPC h5450, include biometric sensors for improved personal identification before allowing access to sensitive data. An individual possessing this device is instructed to enroll one or more of his fingerprints into the device's software. The enrolled fingerprint can be used as the sole password or as an alternative to a typed password. This type of device can be a substantial improvement on traditional data-access methods, because the biometric can be definitively tied to a single individual. However, if the sensitive data is stored or transmitted insecurely, the biometric authentication does not substantially hinder an attacker from probing the memory and compromising it.

[06] These concerns have contributed to the marketing of products billed as 'secure memory' or 'secure processor'. These products are typically constructed with varying degrees of security; one lower degree is considered `tamper-evident', in which an unskilled observer would see that someone had attempted to maliciously gain access to secured data. A
higher level is 'tamper-resistant', in which the product actively resists tampering by use of a self-destruct mechanism, an impermeable substance that coats the components storing sensitive data such as a polymer-based coating or other so-called "conformal coating", or some other process. Furthermore, these products may encrypt input/output lines, mislabel parts, and perform other types of obfuscation.
Description of the Related Art:

[07] U.S. Patent No. 5,533,123 to Force, et al., discloses programmable distributed personal security inventions. The patent teaches a "Secured Processing Unit"
('SPU') comprising an "SPU chip" and a microprocessor designed especially for secure data processing. The invention integrates keys, encryption and decryption engines, and algorithms in the SPU of the invention. Purportedly, the security process is portable and easily distributed across physical boundaries. The invention is based upon three interdependent subsystems. The first subsystem of the invention is a detector subsystem, which alerts an SPU
to the existence and to the character of a security attack. A second subsystem is a filter subsystem that correlates data from multiple detectors, then assesses the severity of the attack against the risk to the SPU`s integrity, both to its secret data and to the design of the SPU
itself. A third subsystem is a response subsystem for generating responses, or countermeasures, calculated by the filters to be most appropriate under the circumstances, in order to deal with the attack(s) detected. Force does not disclose identity credential verification within the SPU.

[08] U.S. Patent No. 5,825,878 to Takahashi discloses a secure embedded memory management unit for a microprocessor. A microprocessor memory management apparatus is used for encrypted instruction and data transfer from an external memory.
Physical security is obtained by embedding the direct memory access controller on the same chip with a microprocessor core, an internal memory, and encryption/decryption logic. Data transfer to and from an external memory takes place between the external memory and the memory controller of the memory management unit. All firmware to and from the external memory is handled on a page-by-page basis. Since all of the processing takes place on buses internal to the chip, detection of clear unencrypted instructions and data is prevented.
Takahashi does not disclose any capability, anticipation, intention, or provision for including identity credential verification on the management unit or within the microprocessor core.

[09] U.S. Patent No. 5,832,207 to Little, et al., teaches a secure module including a microprocessor and a co-processor. The electronic module is provided with at least one microprocessor and a co-processor deployed into a single integrated circuit.
The electronic module can be contained in a small form factor housing. The electronic module provides secure bi-directional data communication via a data bus. The electronic module may include an integrated circuit including a microprocessor and a co-processor adapted to handle 1,024-bit modulo mathematics primarily aimed at RSA calculations. The electronic module is preferably contained in a small token-sized metallic container. The module preferably communicates via a single wire data bus using a one-wire protocol. Little et al. does not disclose personal identification systems.

[10] U.S. Patent No. 5,894,550 to Thireit discloses a method of implementing a secure program in a microprocessor card, and a microprocessor card including a secure program.
The invention claims that a program can be made secure relative to a CPU. The invention accomplishes this by storing in a first memory zone predetermined address functions that are directly executable by the CPU. The first memory zone is then write-protected, then the program is stored in a second memory zone in the form of a series of instructions that are executable within the second memory zone or that activate functions contained in the first memory zone.

[11] U.S. Patent Nos. 5,481,265, 5,729,220, 6,201,484 and 6,441,770 to Russell detail a handheld device used to authenticate persons and said device to remote computer systems.

The invention further includes a "kill switch" or "kill signal" enabling the computer system to remotely disable the handheld device and restrict further emissions. However, the system is primarily targeted at local area network applications and does not anticipate or suggestion broader applications.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[12] The invention disclosed herein is an in-circuit security system for electronic devices.
The in-circuit security system incorporates identity credential verification, secure data and instruction storage, and secure data transmission capabilities. It comprises a single semiconductor chip, lowering component cost and reducing board space. The in-circuit security system chip is secured using mechanisms for preventing information tampering or eavesdropping, such as the addition of oxygen reactive layers. This invention also incorporates means for establishing security settings and profiles for the in-circuit security system and enrolled individuals. The in-circuit security system can be used in a variety of electronic devices, including handheld computers, secure facility keys, vehicle operation/ignition systems, and digital rights management.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
MASTER REFERENCE NUMERAL LIST
Figure 1: Sample embodiment of in-circuit security system components 100 In-circuit security system 101 Processor 102 Memory 103 Identity credential verification subsystem 104 Cryptographic subsystem 105 Real-time clock 106 Power source (OPTIONAL) 107 Transceiver (OPTIONAL) 108 Random number generator 110 Connection to identity credential sensor 111 Connection to peripheral components 112 Connection to antenna or cables Figure 2: Handheld computer with the in-circuit security system 100 In-circuit security system 201 Non-secure processor 202 Non-secure memory 203 Fingerprint sensor 204 Antenna 213 Display 214 Keypad Figure 3: Electronic lock mechanism with the in-circuit security system 100 In-circuit security system 313 LEDs 314 Electronic lock mechanism

[13] FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a sample embodiment of the in-circuit security system.

[14] FIG. 2 is a schematic view of the components of a sample handheld computer using the in-circuit security system.

[15] FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the components of an electronic lock mechanism using the in-circuit security system.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[16] The invention described herein is an in-circuit security system by which pre-enrolled individuals may access sensitive data or perform actions on sensitive data in an environment that is fully monitored and protected. The in-circuit security system requires full authentication of individuals and can perform a variety of programmed responses in the event that pre-established authentication standards are not met. The in-circuit security system includes secure transmission of sensitive data to remote devices.

[17] The in-circuit security system comprises several components combined securely into a single, secure chip. As seen in Figure 1, the primary embodiment of the in-circuit security system 100 comprises a processor 101, a memory 102, a real-time clock 105, and a random number generator 108. The in-circuit security system 100 also includes a cryptographic subsystem 104 and an identity credential verification subsystem 103. These subsystems may be logical, physical, or some combination thereof, and are described in further detail below.
In typical embodiments, the in-circuit security system 100 will also contain a power source 106, such as a battery, in order to maintain power to the real-time clock 105.
During manufacture, the in-circuit security system 100 receives a unique, one-time programmable electronic identification code that can be read but cannot be altered or removed. The in-circuit security system 100 also preferably provides multiple input/output interfaces 110-112 for connection to optional internal/external components, such as transceivers 107, antennae, identity credential sensors, non-secure processors, etc.

[18] The processor 101 is the main control component; it is responsible for loading and executing instructions to control the various components of the chip, as well as performing user-requested tasks. The memory 102 is coupled to the processor 101. It comprises both volatile and non-volatile components and can be used to store instructions or data, such as security settings or profiles and cryptographic keys. The application of these security settings is discussed below. The real-time clock 105 is also coupled to the processor 101 and is used to maintain an accurate time, which can be used in cryptographic signing, audit records, or other transactions. The real-time clock 105 may be connected to a power source 106 in order to constantly maintain time. If the in-circuit security system 100 does not include the power source 106, the real-time clock 105 must be cognizant of power disconnects, which mean that it can no longer provide an accurate time.

[19] The fourth component of the in-circuit security system 100 is a random number generator 108. The random number generator 108 is used for seeding cryptographic algorithms, and may use any of established methods for guaranteeing sufficient randomness.
The random number generator 108 may be included as part of the cryptographic subsystem 104 or may be a standalone component coupled to the subsystem 104. The cryptographic subsystem 104 is a dedicated system for performing encryption and decryption, digital signing and digital signature verification. In one embodiment the subsystem 104 is responsible for storing cryptographic keys in its own memory; in another, the subsystem is coupled to and uses the main memory 102 of the in-circuit security system 100.
Additionally, one primary embodiment of the invention uses a cryptographic acceleration chip or component as the cryptographic subsystem 104. Alternative embodiments are coupled to and use the main processor 101 as the cryptographic engine.

[20] The identity credential verification subsystem 103 is used to determine the identity of an individual attempting to use the in-circuit security system 100 and identify his associated security privileges. The identity credential verification subsystem 103 performs identity credential acquisition, analysis, storage and matching. In the primary embodiment of the invention, the identity credential verification subsystem 103 uses digital representations of fingerprints as the identity credential. In this embodiment the identity credential verification subsystem 103 performs fingerprint image acquisition, and template generation, storage, and matching. The identity credential verification subsystem 103 may use the main processor 101 of the in-circuit security system 100 for credential processing actions or may use its own specialized processor. Similarly, it may employ its own memory for credential storage or use the main memory 102 of the in-circuit security system 100. The in-circuit security system 100 provides one or more connections 110 to external components for credential sensing, such as a fingerprint sensor.

[21] The in-circuit security system 100 incorporates an interface 112 to a transceiver 107, antenna, wire, or other remote communication device that is coupled to the processor 101.
This component is used for transmission of data from one device to another.
All sensitive data that is to be transmitted from the in-circuit security system 100 can be encrypted using the cryptographic subsystem 104, so it is not necessary to place a transceiver 107 within the secure boundaries of the in-circuit security system 100. However, in some embodiments it may prove to be convenient to incorporate the transceiver 107 into the chip.
In these embodiments the interface 112 would be from the transceiver to an antenna, wire, or other communication device. In a primary embodiment of the invention, the transmission technology is radio-frequency identification (RFID), such as the ISO 14443 A/B
or 15693 standards. In another embodiment the in-circuit security system 100 uses Bluetooth or infrared technology. Other embodiments provide a combination of these technologies or others. In alternative embodiments, it may be useful to use a wired technology, such as a serial or USB connection. The in-circuit security system 100 preferably provides external connections 112 for requisite connectors, cables or antennae.

[22] The authentication of individuals allows the in-circuit security system 100 to associate an individual with specific security privileges within the system. For example, one user may be enrolled and identified as a typical user with no ability to reset the system 100, while an alternate user may be identified as an administrator with that ability.
Additionally, the in-circuit security system 100 may be programmed to perform a variety of both temporary and permanent responses to security events. For example, a specified number of access denials within a particular time interval may cause the in-circuit security system 100 to suspend all actions or halt the real-time clock 105 until reset by an enrolled administrator. Alternatively, an attempt to crack open the case of the chip housing the in-circuit security system 100 may result in permanent erasure of memory 102, or destruction of other components.
The in-circuit security system 100 may also be programmed to allow an enrolled individual to directly disable or destroy components.

[23] As described above, the in-circuit security system 100 is combined into one secured chip with three major interfaces: an interface to a credential sensing mechanism, such as a fingerprint sensor; an interface to peripheral components, such as non-secure processors or user-interface devices; and an interface to a transceiver or antenna for remote communications. Other interfaces are strictly prevented. The chip may use one or more physical security measures to prevent information eavesdropping. These obfuscation techniques include use of "potting", oxygen-reactive layers, photo-sensors, Hall effect sensors, and circuits that monitor clock frequency and/or reset frequency.

[24] The system 100 may additionally perform algorithmic analysis of interface traffic.
For example, fingerprint images received from a fingerprint sensor may be analyzed by the identity credential verification subsystem 103; if the identity credential verification subsystem 103 repeatedly receives the exact same bit pattern representation of fingerprints, it is possible that someone is deliberately placing that bit pattern on the interface. Similarly, if the identity credential verification subsystem 103 receives bit patterns that are an exact rotation or other permutation of a previously received image, again someone may be altering the contents of the interface.

[25] The in-circuit security system can be used as a standalone component for security applications or as one of multiple components within an electronic device. In one use of the invention, a handheld computer is equipped with the in-circuit security system 100, as seen in Figure 2. The computer further comprises a display 213, a keypad 214, a non-secure processor 201 and memory 202, and a fingerprint sensor 203. Additionally, for embodiments in which the in-circuit security system 100 includes a transceiver 107 that uses cellular wireless technology, the handheld computer also incorporates an antenna 204.

[26] The primary user of the handheld computer enrolls a fingerprint, a digital certificate, and an associated private key into the in-circuit security system 100. The fingerprint is stored in the identity credential verification subsystem 103 and is used to authorize use of the private key associated with the digital certificate. The digital certificate may be stored in the cryptographic subsystem 104 or the main memory 102 of the in-circuit security system 100.

[27] The individual typically uses the handheld computer to transmit and receive e-mail.
He requires the in-circuit security system 100 to digitally sign his e-mail, which requires accessing the stored private key associated with his fingerprint. He selects his e-mail program, and types an e-mail for transmission using the keypad 214. The keypad 214 is coupled to the processor 201, which receives the data and creates an appropriate message packet for transmission. Once created, the message packet is sent to the in-circuit security system 100 for further processing.

[28] The processor 101 of the in-circuit security system 100 receives the message packet and analyzes the established security settings for transmission of e-mail.
Because the in-circuit security system 100 is configured to require digital signing of e-mail prior to transmission, the individual must first authenticate his fingerprint to the identity credential verification subsystem 103. The biometric authentication is required to prevent unauthorized users from encrypting e-mail with a private key that is not theirs. The processor 101 signals the identity credential verification subsystem 103 to wait for a new fingerprint sample from the fingerprint sensor 203, and signals the non-secure processor 201 to provide a visual prompt to the user on the display 213. After the user places his finger on the fingerprint sensor 203 it sends the new fingerprint image to the identity credential verification subsystem 103. The identity credential verification subsystem 103 analyzes the image, generates a template, and compares it to the enrolled fingerprint template. If the two match, the identity credential verification subsystem 103 sends a signal to the processor 101 that the individual is authorized to use the stored private key.

[29] The processor 101 now sends the e-mail message to the cryptographic subsystem 104 and instructs the cryptographic subsystem 104 to sign the message. This typically involves generating a hash of the message and encrypting it with the private key. The cryptographic subsystem 104 may also include a timestamp generated by the real-time clock, the unique device identifier, or other data, prior to the hash. The cryptographic subsystem 104 now sends the signed e-mail message back to the processor 101. The processor 101, in turn, sends the signed e-mail to the cellular transceiver 107 for transmission to a remote recipient.

[30] In a second embodiment of the invention, the in-circuit security system 100 is embedded into an electronic door locking mechanism that is used to control access to a secure facility. As seen in Figure 3, the system comprises the in-circuit security system 100 with a wired connection to the electronic door lock 314, a fingerprint sensor 203, and a series of light emitting diodes (LEDs) 313 that are used to provide visual feedback to the user.
Individuals access the secure facility by demonstrating enrollment of their fingerprint into the in-circuit security system 100. The security settings of the in-circuit security system 100 are configured to shut down the entire locking mechanism on a pre-specified number of failed attempts within a pre-specified time span. This is example of security parameters and settings that are stored within the memory 102.

[31] An enrolled individual wishes to enter the facility. One LED 313 glows green, signaling that the fingerprint sensor 303 is ready. The individual places his finger on the sensor 203, which generates a fingerprint image and sends it to the identity credential verification subsystem 103. The identity credential verification subsystem 103 generates a fingerprint template and compares it to the enrolled fingerprints. The new fingerprint template matches an existing template, so the identity credential verification subsystem 103 sends the individual's unique identifier to the processor 101. The processor 101 accesses the memory 102, which stores security privileges associated with enrolled individuals. The individual who is currently authenticated is authorized to enter the secure facility alone, so the processor 101 sends a signal to the transceiver 107 to trigger the lock 314 to release.

[32] Now an individual who has not been pre-enrolled into the identity credential verification subsystem 103 attempts to enter the secure facility. The individual places his finger on the fingerprint sensor 203, which sends an image of the fingerprint back to the identity credential verification subsystem 103. The fingerprint is compared to all of the enrolled fingerprints, and no match is found because the individual is not enrolled. The identity credential verification subsystem 103 records the date, time, and other requisite characteristics of the failed access attempt, and flashes a red LED 313 to show that access has been denied. The identity credential verification subsystem 103 also notifies the appropriate process within the processor 101 that an access failure has occurred.

[33] The individual now tries another, un-enrolled finger. The identity credential verification subsystem 103 records the subsequent failure, and notifies the processor 101 that there has been another failure. When the number of failed attempts reaches the pre-established limit, the identity credential verification subsystem 103 again notifies the processor 101 that a failure has occurred. At this point, the processor 101 applies the security settings and places the electronic lock mechanism 314 in a state where it cannot be unlocked unless it is reset by a recognized authority; in a primary embodiment this would be implemented using a "fail-secure" lock and would involve disconnecting a power source.
Alternative actions can occur to put the lock 314 into this state as necessary. The processor 101 may also put the identity credential verification subsystem 103 into a state where it does not accept new fingerprints, create images, or perform matching. As desired by the regulator of the secure facility, the processor 101 may instruct the identity credential verification subsystem 103 to delete any enrolled fingerprint images. These are all examples of programmable security settings.

Claims (19)

What is claimed is;
1. A method for controlling access to an electronic device having an in-circuit security system, comprising:
a. requiring enrollment of a personal identity credential within an identity credential verification subsystem, b. associating the personal identity credential with at least one security privilege, c. requesting a personal identity credential sample be provided to the identity credential verification subsystem upon access request, d. comparing the personal identity credential sample to at least one enrolled personal identity credential within the identity credential verification subsystem, e. determining existence of a match between the personal identity credential sample and an enrolled personal identity credential, f. determining all security privileges associated with the personal identity credential sample, g. determining access authorization based on at least one of said determined existence of a match or said determined security privileges, h. granting or denying access based on said access authorization, and i. selectively enabling a disabled component of the in-circuit security system when access is granted, and j. performing any actions required for said granting or denying of access as stipulated by security settings.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the requested access is to access stored data within the in-circuit security system.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the disabled component is external to the identity credential verification subsystem.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein the requested access is to selectively destroy components.
5. A method, comprising:
disabling a portion of a single integrated circuit of an electronic device, the portion of the single integrated circuit being associated with functionality of the single integrated circuit not used during operation of an identity credential verification subsystem of the single integrated circuit;
identifying, at the identity credential verification subsystem, a user of the electronic device based on an identity credential;
verifying the user of the electronic device based on a security privilege associated with the identity credential; and enabling the portion of the single integrated circuit when the user is identified based on the identity credential associated with the user and verified based on the security privilege associated with the identity credential.
6. The method of claim 5, wherein the single integrated circuit includes a real-time clock, the method further comprising:
halting operation of the real-time clock when the identity credential verification subsystem denies access for a predetermined number of access attempts within a predetermined time period.
7. The method of claim 5, wherein the single integrated circuit includes a power source and a real-time clock, the method further comprising:
disconnecting the power source from the real-time clock when the identity credential verification subsystem denies access for a predetermined number of access attempts within a predetermined time period.
8. The method of claim 5, wherein the electronic device is an electronic lock mechanism, the method further comprising:
sending a signal configured to unlock the electronic lock mechanism when the portion of the single integrated circuit is enabled and when the security privilege permits access to data or a location protected by the electronic lock mechanism.
9. The method of claim 5, wherein the electronic device is an electronic lock mechanism, the method further comprising:
sending a signal configured to place the electronic lock mechanism in a state such that the electronic lock mechanism cannot be unlocked unless the electronic lock mechanism is reset by a recognized authority when the identity credential verification subsystem denies access for a predetermined number of access attempts within a predetermined time period.
10. The method of claim 5, wherein the electronic device is an electronic lock mechanism, the identity credential is a first identity credential, the method further comprising:
sending a signal configured to place the electronic lock mechanism in a state such that the identity credential verification subsystem does not accept a second identity credential when the identity credential verification subsystem denies access based on the first identity credential.
11. The method of claim 5, wherein the identity credential is a biometric input of the user, the identifying including:
producing a biometric template based on the biometric input of the user; and comparing the biometric template of the user to at least one pre-enrolled biometric template stored at the electronic device, the user being identified when the biometric template matches a pre-enrolled biometric template.
12. The method of claim 5, wherein the verifying includes:
determining the security privilege based on the identity credential; and determining access rights associated with the user based on the security privilege.
13. A method, comprising:
producing, at a single integrated circuit of an electronic device, a biometric template based on a biometric input of a user;
authenticating, at the single integrated circuit of the electronic device, the biometric template of the user based on a pre-enrolled biometric template stored at the electronic device;
and disconnecting a power source of the single integrated circuit from a real-time clock of the single integrated circuit when access is denied for a predetermined number of access attempts within a predetermined period of time.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the single integrated circuit includes an identity credential verification subsystem, a processor and a cryptographic subsystem, the method further comprising:
sending a signal from the identity credential verification subsystem to the processor, the signal configured to indicate that the user is authorized to use a stored private key when the biometric template of the user is authentic;
sending an electronic message associated with input from the user, from the processor to the cryptographic subsystem; and encrypting the electronic message based on the private key to produce an encrypted electronic message.
15. The method of claim 13, wherein the single integrated circuit includes a processor and a cryptographic subsystem, the method further comprising:
sending an electronic message associated with input from the user from the processor to the cryptographic subsystem such that the cryptographic subsystem electronically signs the electronic message to produce an encrypted electronic message; and sending the encrypted electronic message from the cryptographic subsystem to a transmitter such that the encrypted electronic message is output to a recipient.
16. The method of claim 13, wherein the electronic device is an electronic lock mechanism, the single integrated circuit includes a processor and an identity credential verification subsystem, the method further comprising:
sending an identifier associated with the user from the identity credential verification subsystem to the processor when the biometric template of the user is authentic;
determining a security privilege associated with the user based on the identifier associated with the user; and sending a signal configured to unlock the electronic lock mechanism when the security privilege associated with the user permits access to data or a location protected by the electronic lock mechanism.
17. The method of claim 13, wherein the disconnecting the power source from the real-time clock halts operation of the real-time clock.
18. The method of claim 13, wherein the electronic device is an electronic lock mechanism, the single integrated circuit includes an identity credential verification subsystem, the method further comprising:
sending a signal configured to place the electronic lock mechanism in a state such that the electronic lock mechanism cannot be unlocked unless the electronic lock mechanism is reset by a recognized authority when the identity credential verification subsystem denies access for a predetermined number of access attempts within a predetermined time period.
19. The method of claim 13, wherein the electronic device is an electronic lock mechanism, the single integrated circuit includes an identity credential verification subsystem, the biometric input being a first biometric input, the method further comprising:
sending a signal configured to place the electronic lock mechanism in a state such that the identity credential verification subsystem does not accept a second biometric input when the identity credential verification subsystem denies access based on the first biometric input.
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