Portable device for safe online business dealings on the anvil

February 20th, 2008 - 4:24 pm ICT by admin  


Washington, February 20 (ANI): The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has announced the development of a prototype portable device called Trust Extension Device (TED), which it says may facilitate business dealings across the internet in a trusted manner.

The Australian research agency has revealed that the TED, which consists of software loaded onto a portable device like a USB memory stick or a mobile phone, is able to minimise the risk associated with performing transactions in untrustworthy and unknown computing environments.

The problem is that trust is currently tied to specific, well-known computing environments. TED makes that trust portable, opening the way for secure transactions to be undertaken anywhere, even in an internet cafe, says CSIRO ICT Centres, Dr John Zic.

The whole idea is that an enterprise will provide a trusted customer with a portable device containing a small operating system, and a set of applications and encrypted data. The device will create its own environment on an untrustworthy computer, and establish trust with the remote enterprise server before running an application.

Both ends must prove their identities to each other and that the computing environments are as expected. Once the parties prove to each other their trustworthiness, the TED accesses the remote server and the transaction takes place.

The idea is that the person or organisation issuing the device runs their own computing environment and applications within the TED, says Dr Zic.

Systems like TED may be of importance particularly to banks by enabling them to provide authorised customers and employees with access to financial data, and conduct financial transactions over the internet.

The idea is that the person or organisation issuing the device runs their own computing environment and applications within the TED. Wherever you go, whichever machine you run on, you and the issuer can be confident both parties are known to each other, cannot engage in any malicious acts, and that the transactions are trusted, says Dr Zic.

The CSIRO is currently looking for parties interested in licensing the technology. (ANI)

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