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Software license management with smart cards

Tuomas Aura
Helsinki University of Technology, FIN-02015 HUT, Finland


This paper describes public-key protocols for binding software licenses to tamper-resistant smart cards, for transferring licenses between cards, and for purchasing them on-line. The protocols support software distribution both through retail stores and over the Internet. The user can transfer licenses from several cards onto a single card to avoid juggling between several cards in the reader. The protocols are based on signed delegation certificates that are mostly stored outside the smart card. A smart card reader and cards capable of public-key signatures are the only new hardware needed. The protocols are easy for the user and simple to implement and analyze. We prove the security of the transfer protocol.

Full paper in Postscript and in HTML

  author = 	 "Tuomas Aura and Dieter Gollmann",
  title = 	 "Software license management with smart cards",
  booktitle =    "Proc. USENIX Workshop on Smartcard Technology",
  month =        may,
  year =         1999,
  publisher =	 {USENIX Association},
  address =      {Chicago},
  pages = 	 "75--85"