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Reversing the Operating System of a Java Based Smart Card

Abstract : Attacks on smart cards can only be based on a black box approach where the code of cryptographic primitives and operating system are not accessible. To perform hardware or software attacks, a white box approach providing access to the binary code is more effi- cient. In this paper, we propose a methodology to discover the romized code whose access is protected by the virtual machine. It uses a hooked code in an indirection table. We gained access to real processor, thus allowing us to run a shell code written in 8051 assembler language. As a result, this code has been able to dump completely the ROM of a Java Card operating system. One of the issues is the possibility to reverse the cryptographic algorithm and all the embedded countermeasures. Finally, our attack is evaluated on different cards from distinct manufacturers.
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Contributor : Guillaume Bouffard <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 10:06:34 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 6:26:29 AM




Guillaume Bouffard, Jean-Louis Lanet. Reversing the Operating System of a Java Based Smart Card. Journal of Computer Virology and Hacking Techniques, Springer, 2014, 15 p. ⟨10.1007/s11416-014-0218-7⟩. ⟨hal-01024393⟩



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