Ksmartech Becomes the First South Korean Business to Commercialize Digital Car Keys

Inside of a connected car

Ksmartech, a South Korean business specializing in mobile security solutions, has become the first South Korean business to commercialize digital car keys, and is expected to target domestic and foreign connected car markets.

Ksmartech (Co-CEOs Ko In-ok and Jung Soon-ho) stated that it is planning to make digital keys, which will be available in the latest Sonata model, available throughout automotive markets in South Korea.

Since Ksmartech was established in 2010, it has grown its business based on successful research in NFC (Near Field Communication) and wireless security and certification. It partnered with Trustonic, a British business that deploys Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) technology certified by ISO (International Organization for Standardization)/ Trustonic has grown its business by establishing TEE-based security solutions and provides multi-channel, two-factor mobile security certification solution called ‘TEE-sign safe storage service’ to the financial sector.

It has recently developed an automotive TEE IoT security solution called ‘Digital Key’ by utilizing IoT (Internet of Things) technology that can implement personal verification and object verification at the same time, expanding its business to the connected car industry. It has worked with Hyundai Motor Company to develop a smartphone application and succeeded in deploying the ‘Digital Key’ option to Sonata during the second quarter of 2019. Hyundai Motor Company introduced its latest Sonata equipped with ‘Digital Key’ option during ‘2019 New York International Auto Show’ that was held last month.

Ksmartech supplied its Digital Key solution that uses TEE IoT technology to Hyundai Motor Company for its latest Sonata model.

Digital Key allows one to use his or her smartphone to control various functions of a car, and up to four different users may have digital key access to one vehicle. Unlike server-based solutions that cannot be used without automotive telecommunications or smartphone telecommunications, Digital Key can be used even when telecommunication is not available. Users can retrieve their Digital Key right away by informing a call center if he or she loses his or her Smartphone.

A user can select either hardware-based TEE certification technology or software-based White Box Cryptography (WBC) certification technology, or use them together, depending on the mobile environment or application range of the device that he or she is using.

“TEE is a security area physically separated within AP (Application Programming. Only applications that are pre-approved can approach TEE area within Android OS (Operating System) through an exclusive API (Application Programming Interface).” said Co-CEO Jung Soon-ho of Ksmartech. “WBC protects reverse engineering from hackers by mixing information of an encrypted key with an encrypted algorithm.” He also added that management of storing important data is also carried out within a ‘trust zone’ and that it protects data from hackers from the start.

Ksmartech is planning to expand its Digital Key service throughout automotive markets in South Korea for few years and target foreign markets by speeding up the process of establishing its branch in the U.S.

“Our Digital Key service can also be applied to many areas that connect person to person, object to object, and person to object.” said CEO Jung. “By expanding our business towards entry management system of hotels and buildings, we are going to launch ourselves as a global mobile security and certification business.”

Original content by Joon-Hee at ET News | http://english.etnews.com/20190703200003

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