Efficient trusted host-based card emulation on TEE-enabled Android devices

Da Luca Verderame settembre 15, 2016

NFC-enabled devices based on Card Emulation (CE) can emulate multiple smartcards, thereby allowing payments, loyalty, ticketing and other custom services. Nowadays, the main technologies granting card emulation are: i) secure elements (SE), i.e. tamper-resistant hardware components allowing the secure hosting of card emulation applications and ii) Host-based Card Emulation (HCE), i.e. software solutions offering limited security guarantees. Since both approaches are not able to grant a satisfying level of both usability and security, a new framework, called Trusted Host-based Card Emulation (THCE), has been recently proposed. However, THCE is an abstract framework that has not been ported on actual devices yet. In this respect, this paper discusses TEA (i.e. ThcE for Android) a porting of the THCE framework on TEE-enabled Android devices. Experimental results carried out on a real use case scenario (i.e., VISA card transactions) show that the approach is promising.

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