TruWalletM: Secure Web Authentication on Mobile Platforms

Sven Bugiel, Alexandra Dmitrienko, Kari Kostiainen, Ahmad-Reza Sadeghi, Marcel Winandy

Trusted Systems, Second International Conference, INTRUST 2010, LNCS 6802/2011, Springer, 2011.


Mobile phones are increasingly used as general purpose computing devices with permanent Internet connection. This imposes several threats as the phone operating system (OS) is typically derived from desktop counterparts and, hence, inherits the same or similar security shortcomings. In particular, the protection of login credentials when accessing web services becomes crucial under phishing and malware attacks. On the other hand many modern mobile phones provide hardware-supported security mechanisms currently unused by most phone OSs.

In this paper, we show how to use these mechanisms, in particular trusted execution environments, to protect the user's login credentials. We present the design and implementation proposal (based on Nokia N900 mobile platform) of TruWalletM, a wallet-like password manager and authentication agent towards the protection of login credentials on a mobile phone without the need to trust the whole OS software. We preserve compatibility to existing standard web authentication mechanisms.

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tags: authentication, M-Shield, mobile phone, security, smartphone, Trusted Computing, TruWallet