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Turning smartphones into secure and versatile keys
Date:1/3/2013

Smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of our daily lives. The capabilities of these handily sized mini-computers seem almost boundless as we phone friends, shoot holiday snaps, lose ourselves in a new music download or access the internet to obtain the boarding card for our next fl ight in comfort. Does it not seem logical, then, that we should make use of these constant companions as the key to our cars, front doors or lockers as well? A few such solutions are already available, but what's still missing is widespread market acceptance. At this year's CeBIT trade fair in Hannover (March 5-9, 2013), researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT in Darmstadt will be demonstrating their ShareKey software, a solution which will make the key app concept even more versatile and secure.

"In essence, ShareKey offers two new functions: users can issue digital keys remotely and assign these keys certain user permissions. For instance, I can grant the building superintendent access to my apartment for a short period so that he can open the door for the gas meter to be read while I'm at work," explains Alexandra Dmitrienko from the SIT. "The solution is built around modern security technologies and can be easily integrated into existing access control systems." ShareKey sends electronic keys directly to the user's mobile phone, in the form of a QR code attached to an e-mail or MMS.

Protecting parcel stations from phishing

One thing that Dmitrienko and her team will also be demonstrating at CeBIT (Hall 9, Booth E08) is a parcel station where access rights to individual compartments are issued using ShareKey. "Recently, users of parcel stations have fallen victim to phishing attacks. Equally, hackers continue to target their efforts on smartphones. In light of this, the big challenge was to protect the electronic keys without compromising the intuitive operation of such devices," explai
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Contact: Alexandra Dmitrienko
alexandra.dmitrienko@sit.fraunhofer.de
49-615-116-75566
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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