LONDON Processor intellectual property licensor ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) is collaborating with Giesecke & Devrient (Munich, Germany) and the two companies are going to demonstrate the combination of the Mobicore operating system running with ARM TrustZone hardware at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona.
The work between the two companies could result in a secure system for local and remote payment using a mobile phone within a couple of years, according to Robert Brown, security technology manager at ARM.
TrustZone creates a protected area in advanced systems-on-chip, and the secure Mobicore operating system developed by G&D offers protection to sensitive applications such as electronic payment and online banking via mobile phone.
The interplay of TrustZone and Mobicore ensures that if online services require security-sensitive functions such as entry of user name and password or data output on a display, these functions are transferred to the Mobicore high-security operating system running in the TrustZone protected area of an ARM application processor. As the security-sensitive functions are executed, Mobicore maintains control of the secure area of a system-on-chip. Users can therefore be certain that the data they have entered, such as their username and password, cannot be manipulated by malware on the phone during a payment transaction.
ARM is also creating a range of training and architectural service packages based around a TrustZone/MobiCore reference system. ARM will release its first secure system training course based around hardware system integration and the TrustZone API next month. This will be followed by an ARM Active Assist on-site design review service package, a secure systems development training package based on Mobicore, the release of the TrustZone Address Space Controller to secure multiple regions in off-chip memory and the TrustZone reference system later in the year.
"We will be working with ARM to develop the security architecture for the next generation of mobile phones. This will enable people to access highly valuable services with convenience and security," said Kai Grassie, head of the new business division at G&D, in a statement.
"ARM TrustZone technology is already an integral part of the ARM Cortex-A series processors which are currently being deployed in smart phones by many of the industry's leading handset manufacturers," said Ian Drew, executive vice president of marketing at ARM, in the same statement. "This collaboration with G&D will enable us to make rapid progress towards enabling secure transactions in next-generation mobile devices."
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