GlobalPlatform and Global Certification Forum Sign Liaison Agreement

17 November 2014

Collaboration will contribute to optimization of NFC testing and certification process  

A Liaison Agreement (LA) has been signed by GlobalPlatform, the association which standardizes the management of applications on secure chip technology, and the Global Certification Forum (GCF), an independent certification scheme for mobile phones and wireless devices based on 3GPP and 3GPP2 standards. The agreement will enable the two bodies to collaborate on the optimization of testing and certification procedures that will support and accelerate the deployment of secure near field communication (NFC) services.

The initial focus of the collaboration will be on mobile NFC handset compliance to reflect that GlobalPlatform’s Secure Element Access Control (SEAC) test suite has been referenced by GSMA’s TS.27 NFC Handset Testbook which, in turn, is used as the basis for GCF certification.

“The SEAC Specification is important to handset manufacturers as it is designed to prevent unauthorized access from a device application to an application stored in the secure element (SE) – a tamper resistant platform residing in a mobile device, such as a UICC or embeddedSE, capable of securely hosting applications and their confidential and cryptographic data,” comments Gil Bernabeu, Technical Director of GlobalPlatform. “Without restrictions, a fake application could ‘pop-up’ during an SE-based transaction which sends the wrong, or too many commands to the SE. This would result in ‘denial of service’ attacks or PIN blocking, and ultimately render the secure application unable to operate. The SEAC Specification addresses this issue.”

Lars Nielsen, General Manager of GCF, adds: “Occupying such central roles in the NFC ecosystem, GCF’s Operator and Manufacturer members have a shared interest in enabling contactless transactions. Through the alignment of testing processes, collaboration between GlobalPlatform and GCF can accelerate the deployment of secure NFC solutions.” 

“The SE is an integral part of delivering end-to-end secure mobile NFC services,” concludes Gil. “It is therefore important that both the SE and mobile handset behave as expected when brought together in an NFC implementation. Integrating essential elements of our SEAC Specification into GCF’s certification process is a step towards achieving this. By establishing a liaison agreement, we can more effectively align our work efforts and simplify testing and certification processes for the mobile community.”

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