Munich, Germany – January 4, 2006 – Infineon Technologies AG (FSE/NYSE: IFX) today announced that its 66PE family of advanced microcontroller ICs (integrated circuits) for security applications have successfully passed the world’s most stringent security tests for chip card applications. This includes all eight contact-based 16-bit security microcontrollers in the 66PE family, used for secure payment transaction and identification applications, as well as the contactless interface security controller Infineon developed specifically for use in electronic passports.
Certification of the security mechanisms for compliance with the International Common Criteria standard at EAL 5+ (Evaluation Assurance Level 5 Plus), the highest security level for chips, involves some of the most demanding tests in the world. Infineon’s security controllers were subjected to months of exhaustive assessment and testing by the German Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, BSI), which is an independent and highly specialized national authority that controls and monitors the entire process and issues internationally recognized Common Criteria certificates in Germany.
Security level EAL 5+ is the highest certification level possible for microcontrollers. Participating institutions have full access to the development documentation of the products under test and verify the effectiveness of their security functionalities in a series of elaborate tests based on the latest scientific findings. They do so using the internationally recognized BSI-PP0002 Protection Profile. This ensures that all attack scenarios of practical relevance to chip cards are fully taken into account both theoretically and in the laboratory tests themselves.
“When it comes to chips for card and security applications, security is the key factor for Infineon from the moment development begins,” said Ingo Susemihl, Marketing Senior Director at Security & Chip Card ICs business unit at Infineon Technologies. “Our aim is to develop state-of-the-art chips and burn in protection mechanisms that will guarantee maximum security for the data later stored on them.”
Security certificates confirm that Infineon’s chip and the operating system for electronic passports provide the highest level of security
Infineon is currently one of the very few semiconductor providers in the world able to supply a security-certified system for electronic passports comprising of the security chip and the operating system. All electronic passports need an operating system of this kind, in addition to other things, to ensure that only authorized reader devices can access the holder’s encrypted data stored on the chip. To be licensed in Europe as a chip supplier for electronic passports, EAL 5+ Common Criteria certification will be essential.
According to the BSI, Infineon’s security controller for use in electronic passports – the SLE66CLX641P – meets EAL5+ Common Criteria requirements, and its operating system complies with EAL4+ Common Criteria requirements. The operating system meets all the specifications of the ICAO’s (International Civil Aviation Organization) global standard, the EU passport specifications published in February 2005 by the European Commission, and the requirements placed by the USA on visa-waiver countries.
What is a security certificate?
All the security mechanisms in the chip have to be specifically geared to each other to provide maximum protection against possible attacks. The purpose of a security certificate, such as the EAL 5+ Common Criteria certificate, is to define the level of this protection. Based on a uniformly defined global rating scheme, the certificate gives semiconductor manufacturers and their customers an objective rating of the strength of the tested chip’s overall security concept.
The Infineon security controllers in the 66PE family that have the EAL 5+ Common Criteria certificate, are: