Secure storage of encryption keys

This master thesis has been written for the specific purpose of finding a way to store encryption keys in a secure manner. Encryption keys are used to protect valuable information. If the secrecy, integrity or availability of the keys are damaged, then the secrecy, integrity or availability of the valuable
information may be damaged. In this thesis we are going to investigate different storage devices. We will also discuss how a device could be constructed to be able to store encryption keys securely.

The purpose of this thesis work was to make a survey of presently existing devices available in the market to store encryption keys; how the hacker intrudes into the device; what are the attacks behind theft of the keys; how can we store encryption keys securely? To achieve this purpose, an overview of the storage devices and attacks made by hackers was acquired through academic books and papers, Internet sites and magazines. Basic cryptography and related algorithms were studied…


1. Introduction to secure storage of encryption keys
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Background
1.3 Problem description
1.4 Why should the encryption keys be stored securely?
1.5 Structure of the Report
2. Cryptography
2.1 Introduction to cryptography.
2.2 Encryption
2.2.1 Need of encryption
2.2.2 Symmetric key encryption
2.2.3 Asymmetric key encryption
2.2.4 Advantage and disadvantage of symmetric and asymmetric keys
2.2.5 Digital signatures
2.3 Public key infrastructure (PKI)
2.4 Secret key systems
2.4.1 DES
2.4.2 AES
2.4.3 RC2
2.4.4 RC4
2.4.5 RC5
2.5 Public key systems
2.5.1 El Gamal
2.5.2 DSA
2.5.3 RSA
2.5.4 Elliptic curve cryptography(ECC)
2.5.5 Technique of encrypting
3. Storage of encryption keys in devices
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Computer hard disk
3.3 USB (Universal Serial Bus)
3.4 Smart cards
3.5 Personal digital assistants
3.6 Comparison of the storage devices
4. Attacks
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Attacks from hackers
4.3 Attacks on smart cards
4.4 Attacks on PDAs
v5. Analysis of storage devices
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Analysis of the attacks on computers
5.3 Analysis of the attacks on USB memory devices
5.4 Analysis of the attacks on PDA
5.5 Analysis of the attacks on smart cards
5.6 Analysis conclusion
6. Proposed secure system
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Proposed security system
6.2.1 Security system for normal users
6.2.2 Proposed system for higher authorities
7. Security analysis of proposed system
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Analysis of the proposed secure system
8. Conclusion
9. References

Author: Kothapalli, Purushotham

Source: Linköping University

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