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Inside Secure debuts NFC security device

Solution can be embedded in high-end products to track and authenticate high-end goods

Inside Secure debuts NFC security device
Inside Secure has developed a device that can be embedded into luxury goods, such as handbags and watches and can be used to track the items. Customers can also check if the item is real or counterfeit using Inside Secure's mobile software with their NFC-enabled phone.

Inside Secure, a semiconductor solutions provider for secure transactions and digital identity, have introduced the VaultIC150 (TM) security solution, which is designed to be a low-cost, compact turnkey NFC-based solution for embedding into high-end consumer or luxury products that are often targeted by counterfeiters and cloners.

Manufacturers of high-end goods that are often counterfeited, such as handbags, watches and shoes, can embed the VaultIC150 in their products and can track their products through distribution and retail channels, and allow consumers with NFC-enabled mobile phones to verify that the product is an original and not a counterfeit.

"Counterfeiting and cloning are taking a tremendous toll on makers of popular high-end brands, not only in lost revenues, but also in jobs lost and company reputation," said Christian Fleutelot, general manager, VaultIC, secure microcontroller solutions business unit, at Inside Secure. "The VaultIC150 provides these manufacturers with a simple, single-chip solution that provides banking-level security to protect their brands at an attractive price point."

The VaultIC150 solution's wireless NFC interface has a range of several centimetres and is available in several antenna form factors, which means that the chip can be deeply embedded into the product without leaving any visible trace. The chip requires no battery as the NFC interface and embedded antenna is designed to collect the RF energy emitted by the reader device to power the security circuitry and communications interface.

The secure portion of the VaultIC150 uses the same circuitry used in the previously-released VaultIC100 and employs elliptic-curve mutual authentication, designed to be a highly-secure and efficient method of protecting the products with banking-level security. The security engine was designed to meet the stringent constraints of the EAL4plus and FIPS 140-2 L3 certification.

The VaultIC150 also includes its own security to prevent tampering, such as voltage, frequency, and temperature detectors, illegal code execution prevention, tampering monitors and protection against side-channel attacks and probing. The chips are designed to detect tampering attempts and destroy sensitive data on such events, thus avoiding data confidentiality being compromised.

To scan the device, users must download software to their mobile phone, which is provided by Inside Secure to the product manufacturers. Manufacturers can customise the software to their products, branding message and other requirements.

The vendor can also create a downloadable version of the application that potential customers can download onto their NFC-enabled cell phones. When consumers then go to a store, they can use their cell phones to authenticate the product or even to find out which retail outlet might have the desired product in stock, if the vendor has a product-locator database available.

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