Paper 2017/032

Cryptanalysis of GlobalPlatform Secure Channel Protocols

Mohamed Sabt and Jacques Traoré


GlobalPlatform (GP) card specifications are the de facto standards for the industry of smart cards. Being highly sensitive, GP specifications were defined regarding stringent security requirements. In this paper, we analyze the cryptographic core of these requirements; i.e. the family of Secure Channel Protocols (SCP). Our main results are twofold. First, we demonstrate a theoretical attack against SCP02, which is the most popular protocol in the SCP family. We discuss the scope of our attack by presenting an actual scenario in which a malicious entity can exploit it in order to recover encrypted messages. Second, we investigate the security of SCP03 that was introduced as an amendment in 2009. We find that it provably satisfies strong notions of security. Of particular interest, we prove that SCP03 withstands algorithm substitution attacks (ASAs) defined by Bellare et al. that may lead to secret mass surveillance. Our findings highlight the great value of the paradigm of provable security for standards and certification, since unlike extensive evaluation, it formally guarantees the absence of security flaws.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. SSR 2016
Contact author(s)
sabt mohamed @ gmail com
2017-01-13: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Mohamed Sabt and Jacques Traoré},
      title = {Cryptanalysis of {GlobalPlatform} Secure Channel Protocols},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2017/032},
      year = {2017},
      doi = {10.1007/978-3-319-49100-4_3},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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