Secure Memory Cards In Information Security And Digital Content First

Edinburgh, February 17th 2005: They’re smart, they’re small, they store digital content more securely than ever before and they’re coming soon for mobile phones, media players, PDAs, notebooks and a host of other portable devices.

A unique pairing of flash memory storage and smart card security, secure memory cards are a major advance over their conventional counterparts. They mean that for the first time pocket-sized, removable storage can be used for sensitive information – like business, healthcare or government data – in complete confidence. Nobody can access stored information without the right numeric or biometric key – a fingerprint for example.

And according to Aspects Software, independent developer of the software and cryptography behind the innovation, the devices will be in the pockets – and mobiles – of hundreds of millions of users within a few years.

“Flash memory is everywhere from cameras and MP3 players through to corporate PDAs and laptops. It’s just so convenient.” says Aspects chief technologist and VP of product marketing Chris Caruk. “But until now there’s been zero security in the hardware. Anyone finding, borrowing or stealing a flash card has had open access to what it holds.”

The new cards put smart card silicon – as used in secure payment and ID cards – between the flash memory and the outside world. Secure the smart card element and the data is secured too. Previous security schemes have had to rely on the host device – the phone or PDA for example – to provide protection.

At a cost similar to normal flash cards, secure memory cards will be backward compatible with all devices that use SD (secure digital) format storage. But to take advantage of the full security potential a host device must be SDIO compatible, as is much recent and new mobile electronic equipment.

In addition to storing confidential information, secure memory cards are also seen as key to emerging digital rights management schemes for electronic content. Digital music, video and e-books for example can be conveniently stored and moved, yet remain restricted to purchasers.

Secret behind the secure memory card is an embedded Java Card Operating System. Developed by Aspects Software, OS755 is also available for SIM cards, finance cards and the new generation biometric/ID cards. Tight, high performance, fully standards-compliant, and easily adapted to new silicon, OS755 is the only one to allow silicon vendors to go to market with a new card in weeks rather than many months.

About Aspects Software
Aspects Software ( provides independent operating system and test/development technology for SIM/USIM, finance, ID, biometric and other smart cards. Dominant supplier to Europe’s mobile industry with more than 75% of the market, Aspects’ 20-year track record, 100+ man/years Java card/embedded systems expertise and Common Criteria/FIPS security experience is unrivalled. The company’s lead in secure multimedia card technology is seen as pivotal to growth in mobile content.

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