Elliptic Curve Cryptography Adopted within Safety-Critical Aeronautical Telecommunications Network

HAYWARD, Calif., March 26, 2002 - Certicom (Nasdaq: CERT; TSE: CIC), a leading provider of mobile e-business security, today announced a license agreement with the U.S. government's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide security solutions for the development of next-generation air traffic control networks. Certicom's Trustpoint™/CA and Trustpoint/PKI Portal will provide a PKI-based foundation that will protect the integrity of communications between air traffic controllers and pilots. Certicom is partnering with Basic Commerce and Industries, Inc. (BCI) to integrate public-key infrastructure (PKI) with the FAA's Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) data link program. 

The Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) is a next-generation data link network being developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Security is crucial within the ATN to prevent hackers from injecting fake messages into the system and deceiving aircraft into making maneuvers that have not been requested by controllers. The ATN provides a highly-reliable, bandwidth constrained connection between controllers and aircraft. Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) has been selected as the basis for security with the ATN due to the bandwidth advantages ECC enjoys when compared with other public-key cryptographic algorithms. 

"Data link and ATN are significant improvements to our air traffic control networks. The networks must address security issues in order to realize their potential," said Vic Patel, Information Security Group Manager, FAA Technical Center. "Certicom's Trustpoint PKI products will provide FAA with a flexible security framework for our implementation of the ATN security solution." 

Certicom's Trustpoint PKI products are the most complete and flexible PKI offerings available today. Certicom's suite of PKI products support a wide range of algorithms, certificate formats, and certificate profiles and are highly configurable to allow companies flexibility as they deploy PKI. Certicom's products are also designed with scalability in mind in order to support the broad deployments typically undertaken by government agencies, network operators, and other enterprises. 

"Since September 11, the security of our transportation systems has come under intense scrutiny," said Ian McKinnon, President and CEO for Certicom. "Certicom is delighted to help the FAA ensure future air traffic control networks will benefit from state-of-the-art communications security. Our partnership with BCI will ensure smooth integration of PKI into the ATN network. Initially the FAA will use our Trustpoint products during validation of the ATN security solution, before deployment of PKI across the ATN and other FAA programs." 

"Elliptic Curve Cryptography is a vital ingredient of the ATN security solution. Without ECC, security would place an unacceptable burden on the performance of the ATN network," said Tom McParland, Chair of the Security Working Group of the ATN Panel. 

About Certicom
Certicom is a leading provider of information security software and services, specializing in solutions for mobile e-business. The company's products and services are specifically designed to address the challenges imposed by a wireless data environment. Certicom's solutions incorporate its efficient encryption technology and are based on industry standards for information security that utilize public-key cryptography. Certicom's products are currently licensed to more than 300 customers including Cisco Systems, Inc., Handspring Inc., Motorola, Inc., Nortel Networks, Openwave Systems, Inc., Palm, Inc., QUALCOMM, Inc., Research In Motion Ltd., Sony International (Europe) GmbH, and Verizon Communications Inc. Certicom's headquarters and worldwide sales and marketing operations are based in the Silicon Valley in Hayward. For more information, visit Certicom's Web site at http://www.certicom.com

About Basic Commerce and Industries, Inc.
Basic Commerce and Industries, Inc. (BCI) was incorporated in 1981 with the objective of building a performance-oriented systems and services engineering company that caters to both the government and private industry. BCI specializes in the areas of Radar, Command and Control, Communications, Weapon Control, Navigation, Computer Networks, Advanced Training Systems, Air Traffic Control, Human Factors Engineering, Ship Systems and Weather Processing Systems. 

BCI has been providing systems and software engineering support services to the US Navy, US Air Force, US Army, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and several private industry clients. BCI has a proven track record of expertise encompassing all phases of systems and computer program design, development and maintenance in nation's space, defense and commercial systems. Our growth has been noted in INC. Magazine in their Inc. 500 list of America's fastest-growing private companies and in the 1999 Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 500 list of the fastest-growing tech companies in the US as published in Forbes Magazine. 

About Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the element of the U.S. government with primary responsibility for the safety of civil aviation. The FAA was originally designated the Federal Aviation Agency when established by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. The present name was adopted in 1967 when the FAA became a component of the Department of Transportation. The FAA's major functions include:

  • Regulating civil aviation to promote safety and fulfill the requirements of national defense;
  • Encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology;
  • Developing and operating a common system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft;
  • Research and development with respect to the National Airspace System and civil aeronautics;
  • Developing and implementing programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation; and
  • Regulating U.S. commercial space transportation.

The Information Systems Security branch, ACB-250, of the Systems Engineering Division of FAA is leading information security development activities within the FAA Technical Center. ACB-250 supports various programs within FAA, including the ATN Data Link program. 

Certicom and Trustpoint are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Certicom Corp. All other companies and products listed herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. 

Except for historical information contained herein, this press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially. Factors that might cause a difference include, but are not limited to, those relating to the acceptance of mobile and wireless devices and the continued growth of e-commerce and m-commerce, the increase of the demand for mutual authentication in m-commerce transactions, the acceptance of Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) technology as an industry standard, the market acceptance of our principal products and sales of our customer's products, the impact of competitive products and technologies, the possibility of our products infringing patents and other intellectual property of fourth parties, and costs of product development. Certicom will not update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. More detailed information about potential factors that could affect Certicom's financial results is included in the documents Certicom files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities regulatory authorities. 

For further information, please contact: 

Lorraine Kauffman Carol Paterson
Corporate Communications Lois Paul & Partners (for Certicom)
Certicom Corp. (415) 262-1908
(510) 780-5417 carol_paterson@lpp.com