Certicom’s Two-Dimensional Bar Code Technology Ensures Customer Privacy While Introducing New Efficiencies to the Travel Experience
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – (April 16, 2008) Certicom Corp. (TSX: CIC) today announced that Continental Airlines, the world’s fifth largest airline, has selected Certicom’s two-dimensional (2D) bar code technology, based on Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC).
Leveraging Certicom’s bar code technology, Continental became the first U.S. airline to enable its customers to check-in and board flights using their secure mobile devices – such as a cell phone or PDA. This benefit is part of a larger bar code technology initiative being considered by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
While many airlines today use 2D bar codes on boarding passes, the technology is not implemented universally. To expedite this migration, IATA has set a deadline for the end of 2010 for full implementation of 2D bar code technology. According to IATA, bar code technology could save the airline industry more than $500 million annually.
Certicom’s ECC-based technology offers new benefits when compared with today’s RSA encryption. Most notably, ECC key sizes are much smaller – 163 bits versus 1024 bits for RSA – offering the most security-per-bit of any public key cryptographic algorithm. As a result, a smaller signature is added to the bar code, requiring less “real estate” on printed tickets or mobile device screens. The Certicom solution uses standards-based digital signatures which are capable of providing authentication and customer privacy, allowing personal passenger information, i.e., a passenger’s frequent flyer or drivers’ license number, to be securely encrypted within the digital signature.
For Continental, having a smaller, more secure bar code is critical for mobile device check-in and boarding simply because small barcodes scan more reliably, reducing scan errors and saving valuable time at security checkpoints. Using less space for signatures provides more room for passenger and airline data, making Certicom digital signature technology ideal. “Continental is able to deliver a consistent, reliable experience to all customers using mobile boarding passes as a result of the technology provided by Certicom,” said Jared Miller, Director, Customer Self-Service, Continental Airlines.
Certicom Security for Bar Code Authentication is a solution that addresses key management, authentication, privacy and infrastructure security requirements in one comprehensive package for solution providers, end users and bar code reader manufacturers. The solution offers “anywhere, anytime” authentication and data encryption by bar code readers that are off-network – a common scenario in many bar code applications. Furthermore, the solution can support RFID and 2D bar codes simultaneously, enabling companies to bolster the security behind their logistics tracking efforts even more.
“Two-dimensional bar code technology is rapidly growing in popularity because it is inexpensive to implement and provides much more security than one-dimensional bar codes, which are commonly used for product identification,” said Mike Harvey, Senior Product Management for Certicom. “This technology has the ability to be used in a wide range of travel industry applications, including mobile and web-based ticketing. In addition, it applies not just to people traveling, but also to the larger air freight industry including baggage carriers where barcodes can contain private passenger or shipment information.Certicom’s solution protects the privacy of the traveler and ensures the authenticity of the package, all in real-time without having to rely on distant online databases.”
About Certicom Security for Bar Code Authentication
There are three vital components at the heart of Certicom’s Security for Bar Code Authentication offering: the Certicom Signing Appliance, the Certicom Authentication Agent and the Certicom Key Management Service. The Certicom Signing Appliance is a robust metered signing appliance that uses standards-based digital signatures to add authentication and privacy to bar codes with high-speed performance. The Certicom Authentication Agent is a software library for decrypting and storing keys on leading handheld devices running WinCE .NET. The Certicom Key Management Service is a key management and application provisioning service that is underpinned by Certicom’s off-line Certificate Authority (CA) and capable of updating fielded RFID and bar code readers.
Certicom protects the value of content, applications and devices with government-approved security. Adopted by the National Security Agency (NSA) for government communications, Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) provides the most security per bit of any known public-key scheme. As the global leader in ECC, Certicom security offerings are currently licensed to more than 300 customers including General Dynamics, Motorola, Oracle, Research In Motion and Unisys. Founded in 1985, Certicom's corporate offices are in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada with worldwide sales and marketing headquarters in Reston, Virginia and offices in the U.S., Canada, Europe and China. Visit www.certicom.com.
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