1996-11-30 - Strong-crypto smart cards in Singapore and Germany

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From: pgut001@cs.auckland.ac.nz
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: f7f8eeecee14fb8c0ea50bdaf41ecdc7acbf4303472d559c870dd82aa37235c8
Message ID: <84936010217079@cs26.cs.auckland.ac.nz>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-11-30 13:22:11 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 30 Nov 1996 05:22:11 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: pgut001@cs.auckland.ac.nz
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 1996 05:22:11 -0800 (PST)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Strong-crypto smart cards in Singapore and Germany
Message-ID: <84936010217079@cs26.cs.auckland.ac.nz>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Wednesday's "Straits Times" contains two front-page articles on the 
introduction of a CashCard which acts as an electronic wallet capable of 
storing from $10-$200 ("Dr Hu launches cash-in-a-card payment system"), and an 
identity card capable of Internet electronic transactions with (presumably 
RSA) 1024-bit encryption ("50,000 to take part in electronic ID trials").  The 
ID card can also be implemented as software on disk.  It appears to be purely 
a form of storing an ID which is then transmitted in encrypted form.  The 
CashCard, on the other hard, is an electronic wallet developed by a group of 
Singapore banks.  There are no details on how it works, except that it doesn't 
have any sort of protection - it's up to you to make sure the card isn't 
The standardisation committee of the German banks have also produced an 
electronic wallet which should have 25 million (yes, 25M) users by January of 
next year.  Again, this is a pure electronic wallet, with 2-key triple DES and 
768-bit (to become 1024-bit) RSA encryption.  The relevant standards are still 
in the process of being translated, but should be available Real Soon Now (the 
complete specification will be made public).  This looks like a very nice 
system, and unlike Mondex doesn't rely entirely on the hope that criminals 
can't get at the data on the card.