Cryptographic Key Protection
Cryptography is at the heart of secure communication worldwide, and has become an indispensable protection mechanism for securing systems, communications and applications. Cryptographic keys are the fundamental building block of this protection mechanism.
A Cryptographic Key is used to:
- Protect digital assets, including media, software and devices
- Encrypt user licenses
- Bind devices
- Prove identity
- Secure communication against eavesdroppers
- Protect Host Card Emulation (HCE)
Keys are the critical component for securing systems, communication and applications, and therefore must be protected at all times. Examples of such systems are Digital Rights Management clients, Conditional Access Systems, game consoles, and set-top boxes.
While offering strong protection, cryptography makes the assumption that cryptographic keys are kept absolutely secret. This assumption is very difficult to guarantee in real life since applications and systems can be compromised relatively easily. Access to digital content, data and information systems is commonly protected by encryption, a first line of defense. However encryption has a single point of failure – the instance at which the decryption key is used. This point is easily identifiable through signature patterns and cryptographic routines. Once found, an attacker can easily navigate to where the keys will (typically) be constructed in memory. Subsequently, fatal exploits can be easily created.