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Attacks on Java Card 3.0 Combining Fault and Logical Attacks

Abstract : Java Cards have been threatened so far by attacks using ill-formed applications which assume that the application bytecode is not verified. This assumption remained realistic as long as the bytecode verifier was commonly executed off-card and could thus be bypassed. Nevertheless it can no longer be applied to the Java Card 3 Connected Edition context where the bytecode verification is necessarily performed on-card. Therefore Java Card 3 Connected Edition seems to be immune against this kind of attacks. In this paper, we demonstrate that running ill-formed application does not necessarily mean loading and installing ill-formed application. For that purpose, we introduce a brand new kind of attack which combines fault injection and logical tampering. By these means, we describe two case studies taking place in the new Java Card 3 context. The first one shows how ill-formed applications can still be introduced and executed despite the on-card bytecode verifier. The second example leads to the modification of any method already installed on the card into any malicious bytecode. Finally we successfully mount these attacks on a recent device, emphasizing the necessity of taking into account these new threats when implementing Java Card 3 features.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00692165
Contributor : Guillaume Barbu <>
Submitted on : Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 5:45:45 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 31, 2020 - 10:44:07 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 2:35:36 AM

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Guillaume Barbu, Hugues Thiebeauld, Vincent Guerin. Attacks on Java Card 3.0 Combining Fault and Logical Attacks. Smart Card Research and Advanced Application. 9th IFIP WG 8.8/11.2 International Conference. CARDIS 2010, Apr 2010, Passau, Germany. pp.148-163, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-12510-2_11⟩. ⟨hal-00692165⟩

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