Trusted Embedded Computing

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TECOM network

Technology abstract

Trusted Embedded Computing (TECOM) aims at developing trusted computing solutions for embedded platforms, which means, that TECOM ensures especially the security and safety of embedded computing systems and infrastructures.

The technology was collected and described by EurA Consult AG.

- Johannes Schmidt -

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Technology Description

The Internet has in recent years become increasingly important and taken way into almost every household. As more people spend a large part of their work or spare time with the computer, the popularity of online communities on the Internet is understandable. Here friendships are made and maintained, interest groups formed, exchanged information and established business contacts.
An online community is a community on the Internet, which is formed for a specific purpose. Here it can go to a particular area of interest, specific professional groups or even a place to meet other users. The most successful online community is the one that is created by its users.
Few online communities make it, however, to be regularly frequented by a large group of users. Even elaborate communities usually have little success and the opportunity to create an offer that still no one had previously, are narrowing. The few established and highly frequented online communities on the other hand are becoming more popular and take an increasingly important role for their users.
Trusted computing until now was mainly understood as a technology for PCs, but embedded computers enface the same endangerments from networks and simulations as PCs or even more. To ensure secure data exchange within a network or an online community, three requirements must be met:

  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Security

Confidentiality means that only the transmitter and receiver can read the message. This can be achieved by single or multiple encryption. If you can ensure that the transmitted data has not been altered on its way to the recipient, it is called integrity. In addition one uses a checksum, similar to the check number on the ID card. An authentication proves that two people who are actually who they claim to be. Usually that is ensured by security protocols and digital certificates. In business there is a fourth area that you need to consider: The operational safety. These include systems that record unwanted access (Intrusion Detection System, IDS) or prevent (Intrusion Prevention System, IPS). A secure corporate network has only one access at which the user must identify and authenticate. Thereby you can set up different security system successively. Even in dealing databases secure data exchange is important, finally, to be stored no erroneous data.
Integrity, Trust and Security will be the major differentiating factors for complex, large and critical equipment of the future. As such systems reach critical complexity barriers (like PCs today) the availability of implicit trust and security will be mandatory.

Innovations & Advantages

TECOM adopts a systematic approach to the complete development of trusted embedded systems, consisting of hardware platforms with integrated trust components to which special attention is dedicated:

  • trusted hardware
  • trusted operating systems mainly based on the new virtualization/hypervisor architecture
  • software interfaces for easy implementation of software security
  • and trusted protocols

Providing a secure embedded Linux platform based on TECOM architecture is just one advantage as example. The results and experience gained will be used to influence the Trusted Computing standardization work. The project findings are expected to give impulses for the new trust based application scenarios and solutions.

Current and Potential Domains of Application

  • mobile phones
  • communications
  • e-commerce
  • automotive industry
  • energy network / smart grid / smart cities

Typical applications for this technology are:

  • Embedded & software engineering (FPGA & Microcontroller Programming)
  • (embedded) Linux (from scratch, Kernel, driver, userspace, GUI)
  • Application, tool and user interface developement (C++/ Qt, QML C#, .NET, WCF)
  • Web access and tools, Internet of things
  • Methods & processes (optimization toolchain, MDA, MDD, UML, SysML, SCRUM)
  • Test and development management (efficient development / test processes, continuous integration)
  • Safety & security (secure applications, trusted platform management, cryptographic algorithms, secure embedded systems)