LONDON – Cryptography Research, Inc., a division of Rambus Inc., has announced that smartcard and security chip maker Mikron JSC (Zelenograd, Russia) has signed a license agreement regarding the use of CRI's patents in Mikron products.
CRI's patented technology can protect Mikron's tamper-resistant products against differential power analysis (DPA) and related attacks, CRI said. CRI recently announced it had licensed the same technology to a "major smart phone and tablet manufacturer."
Mikron, the leading manufacturer and exporter of integrated circuits in Russia, is part of the microelectronics business division of Sitronics JSC, which in turn is part of the diversified holding company Sistema. Although traded on the London Stock Exchange Sitronics is majority owned by JSVC Sistema the largest diversified public financial corporation in Russia.
DPA is a form of attack that involves monitoring variations in the electrical power consumption of a target device and then using statistical methods to derive cryptographic keys or other secrets. Strong countermeasures to DPA are important for securing mobile devices, bank cards, pay television systems, secure identity products, secure storage media, and other electronic systems and components. Many of the world's leading security standards include requirements that devices be protected against DPA and related attacks.
CRI has developed a portfolio of over 55 patents covering countermeasures to DPA attacks, with additional patent applications pending.
"Mikron produces a wide range of ICs for secure ID systems and various smart cards using payment applications that require the highest security rating. Security is a major focus for Mikron, and our strategy is to develop advanced secure microcontrollers with protection against a multitude of attacks. DPA Countermeasures are a critical security requirement, and this agreement will enable Mikron to strengthen its leadership in the security market," said Gennady Krasnikov, CEO of Mikron JSC, in a statement issued by CRI.
"Protecting electronic devices and security systems from power analysis attacks is critical. CRI's patented countermeasures to DPA are a vital part of building tamper-resistant semiconductors," said Paul Kocher, president and chief scientist of CRI, in the same statement.
Good deal for both sides. Krasnikov has methodically maneuvered the choppy waters of the Soviet nomenklatura, and then the Russian bureaucracy to bring some sense to Mikron's existence in the commercial world. Many Russian factory chiefs come and go, but Krasnikov has survived to see a better day. It all started some fifteen years before the following interview in 2008: http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4193415
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