Last week, Samsung introduced the latest Secure Element (SE) – S3FV9RR chip and software, its security chip in order to protect everything from the phone/tablet firmware and boot process to the storage and mobile payments.
ZDNet reported Samsung to have used the SE chip in its Galaxy S20 devices with Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (CC EAL) rating 5+. And the latest SE chip (S3FV9RR) is said to obtain the CC EAL 6+ certification. Samsung claims the new level to be the highest acquired by a mobile component — the highest available rating being EAL 7.
The SE chip doesn’t really depend on a device’s primary processor and security solution hence looks after firmware vulnerability. It even provides protection during the boot process, on-board storage, and applications on a device. Also, it’s said to provide extra protection while initiating mobile payments.
The senior vice president of System LSI marketing at Samsung Electronics, Dongho Shin, on the new chip and software said, ” In this era of mobility and contact-less interactions, we expect our connected devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to be highly secure so as to protect personal data and enable fintech activities such as mobile banking, stock trading, and cryptocurrency transactions. With the new standalone security element solution (S3FV9RR), Samsung is mounting a powerful deadbolt on smart devices to safeguard private information.”
The new chip comes with twice the security storage capacity thereby providing the hardware-based root of trust (RoT), secure boot, and device authentication support. Thus, service providers and manufacturers and organizations can deploy proprietary applications on mobile devices with RoT on top of secure device authentication.
The bootloader starts followed by the activation of a chain of trust validating each firmware with approved keys in a sequence. The root of trust takes care of the secure booting process, hence protecting devices from unauthorized software updates, malicious attacks, etc.
Samsung will ship the S3FV9RR chips in Q3 2020. Therefore, we could see the new chips in action towards the end of 2020.