The all-new Samsung “Secure Element” dedicated security chip

18/12/2020

The all-new Samsung “Secure Element” dedicated security chip

The all-new and S3K250AF-based “Secure Element” security solution, which will first feature in the Galaxy S20, brings the concept of standalone and isolated sensitive data storage to Samsung smartphones for the first time.

Combining a microcontroller with advanced hardware-level protection, as well as an optimized secure operating system, the new SE system has achieved a Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (CC EAL) of 5+, which is the highest for a mobile component. In plain English, that means owners of the Samsung Galaxy S20 series will get a dedicated security chip in addition to the existing layers of security already provided, such as the Knox mobile security platform. Dongho Shin, senior vice-president of system large scale integration (LSI) marketing at Samsung Electronics, said: “Our new turnkey SE solution for mobile devices will not only keep user data safer on the go but also enable new mobile applications that will broaden and enrich our everyday lives.” What those new applications are, remains to be seen. 

What we do know is that this new secure element chip will bring what Samsung refers to as a “dedicated tamper-resistant strongbox” for confidential and cryptographic data. So, the likes of pins and passwords, crypto-currency credentials and credit card payment tokens will be stored separately from standard mobile memory, and that’s a good, secure thing. It’s not the only thing that impacts security on a smartphone, though.

Scientists Develop ‘Absolutely Unbreakable’ Encryption Chip Using Chaos Theory

Scientists Develop 'Absolutely Unbreakable' Encryption Chip Using Chaos Theory
Have scientists developed the future of encryption by applying the laws of physics? KAUST

The trouble with encryption is that everyone needs it, and every threat actor wants to break it. Thankfully, current cryptographic techniques are still at least one step ahead of the cracking curve. That could, scientists say, all change in the not too distant future as quantum computers enter the encryption battlefield. But what if there were a method of enabling data to be sent using an “absolutely invulnerable” one-time communication technique? What if that technology could achieve perfect secrecy cryptography via correlated mixing of chaotic waves in an irreversible time-varying silicon chip?

An international team of scientists claims that’s exactly what it has done, developing a prototype silicon chip that uses the laws of nature, including chaos theory. With no software or code to manipulate, traditional methods of cracking computer encryption are irrelevant, the scientists claim. What’s more, it is also alleged to overcome the threat of quantum computers and can do so using existing communication networks.

How does the chaos theory encryption chip work?

An international team of scientists from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the Center for Unconventional Processes of Sciences (CUP Sciences) has today published a paper to demonstrate perfect secrecy cryptography in classical optical channels.

“With the advent of more powerful and quantum computers, all current encryptions will be broken in a very short time,” Dr. Andrea Fratalocchi, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at KAUST and leader of the study, said, “exposing the privacy of our present and, more importantly, past communications.”

As of such enhancements in security, we won’t be offering any further security improvements on Samsung’s S20 LineUp.

This includes S20 S20+ Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra including their 5G versions.

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