Architecture Behind the Keyless Entry System

To start with a smart key is an automatic right of entry and approval system that is an alternative to traditional keys that were in use previously as the standardized option in several cars and points of entry. The smart key was first were created in 1995 by Siemens group of companies and pioneered into use by Mercedes-Benz and named the key-less go on the W220 S-Class that was designed and patented to Daimler-Benz on 1998. The smart key permits the driver of the automobile to keep the key chain or key holder in the pocket while starting or stopping the engine of the car.

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When the driver or user of the car touches the door handle of the car, a small frequency wake-up signal is sent to the car and from the car to the key. Consequently, a recognition cryptogram is sent back to the car, and if it is accurate, the vehicle automatically unlocks itself. When the user of the vehicle gains entry into the vehicle, he or she can start the engine of the vehicle by pushing the button start or stop button. The access of the car user to gain entry into the car is very cost effective purpose section in the architecture of the keyless entry system. The current design of the keyless entry architecture consists of a detached transponder that is in a parallel micro-controller that is joined with a radio frequency and a transmitter integrated circuit.

The technology that is in use is dependent upon the proprietary crypto algorithms which restrict the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s supplier collection and enhances the possible frequency of attacks. There are proposals by the designers of the keyless entry systems to use immobilizer front-end in the integrated circuits.

The effect of doing this will be increased circuit integration in a cost- effective way due to the elimination of the detached transponder with a small ferrite that has a coil. The use of the advanced encryption standard crypto algorithm allows for transparent and expert standard algorithms and increased market for Original Equipment Manufacturers and greater effectiveness in the controlling system.

Modern cars are fitted with several security systems, for instance, the electronic engine immobilizer .anti-theft alarm, anti-carjacking systems, steering lock, door lock and ignition locks. The above facilities are present in the modern vehicles that are manufactured, and others are being installed in the vehicles that don’t have such features as add-on. The keyless entry system gives a security boost to the user of the car with multiple layers of security levels to protect the vehicle from unauthorized users who may be harboring ulterior motives. Cars have been in existence since the start of the 20th century, and they did not have the keyless entry systems features.

It is at the start of the 21st century that the initial cars began to be fitted with the keyless entry a system which was a remarkable invention and a plus for the security systems not only in cars but also in other facilities such as buildings and private homes. The former car locks consisted of doors that were operated using a mechanical pin and a tumbler lock for the essence of security and convenience to the car users. This is what later overtaken by the keyless entry system and automatic locking system. Similarly, the technological innovations that were in play at that time established various methods that would be used to ignite the engine of an automobile.

The previously used keys for gaining entry into the car and starting the engine of the car were slowly being faced off and replaced other inventions. The keyless entry system can robotically unlock the doors of the car if it is located within some set radius by the manufacturer of the automobile. The cars that are outfitted with a keyless system of entry do not have the traditional ignition lock this is to say that they can be started using the start button instead of the turning of a key. There are not set standards for the automatic keyless entry and this result into different kinds of such systems in the market.

Because cars are used on a frequent basis, any issue that relates to the security systems in them can attract a lot of enormous societal concern. The development, for instance, the radio frequency identification RFID was previously claimed to be highly safe, but this was disapproved easily as it was broken easily as it did not tamper proof and could be easily manipulated. As regards to the automatic keyless entry system, the manufacturers of these systems do not make it known the details relating to the security of their products hence there is no way of manipulating these systems. Hence they cannot be easily tampered with.

Remote keyless entry systems are made use of in many assortments of applications with most it being in cars and buildings for the purpose of gaining entry to these facilities. These systems use a small powered battery device that transfers an original message to the car or building for it to open or close its doors.

Current research in this field illustrates the loopholes that existed in the other security systems that were in place before and that the customers of such devices were being given a raw deal. The security flaws that existed before were as a result of obsolete cryptographic algorithms and defective key administration and agreement techniques. For instance, the large Keeloq system that used microchip was easily manipulated and broken into by researchers from the University of Bochum. This was the case in the NXP’s Hitag-2 system.

As regards to the algorithms, the modern automatic keyless systems of entry adopt the use of symmetric, identical and thoroughly researched cryptographic algorithms, for instance, advanced encryption standard. Symmetric algorithms have distinct advantages relating to the execution cost efficient use of energy. On the contrary, the symmetric algorithms are not a good foundation for unit verification since they need to have a well-defined key administration strategy and ensure the safety of the transfer of clandestine keys. In comparison to the symmetric algorithms, the asymmetric algorithms make the key management easy and more efficient. For the asymmetric algorithms, there is permission of essential agreement with the absence of the transmission of the secret key.

To attain dependable security, the industry operates in a manner that there is unity between the designer and the security principles standards entity to the device, authenticate and model an architecture for automotive networks where security related components are secured with various tamper identification and defense schemes and sensitive information are protected with different cryptographic algorithms. For stepping up of the security, there is a suitable separation between the security software and hardware and a safe zone inside the system is characterized with a hardware co-processor, undisclosed storeroom, and dispensation.

Currently, the present security solutions for the keyless entry systems are made of trusted hardware security modules which are incorporated with other equipment’s, for instance, the secure hardware extension, vehicle intrusion protected applications that are in the trusted platform module where they coordinate with each other. The secure hardware extension is characterized by some functions and a programmer’s interface that permits the cooperation and coordination within a safe zone inside the electronic control unit that is installed in an automobile.

The primary characteristics are encryption and decryption algorithms that request an identification code to gain access to the API storage and administration of the security keys. E-safety Vehicle Intrusion proTected Applications is characterized by three kinds of levels of security undertakings that are light, full and medium. The primary purpose of the E-safety Vehicle Intrusion Protected Applications is looking for an appropriate separation of software and hardware security based on the fact that software is not adequately safe for the current electronic safety applications (Kitson et al., Pp 59).

It characterizes a hardware co-processor with safe storage and dispensation and high throughput attained with hardware enhancement. The alternative design method to ensure device safety is the use of security controllers. The security controllers are standard incorporated systems with security improved memory administration and processor additions to provide separate runtime surroundings as safe and nonsafe modes. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has recommended the Federal Information Processing Standards which developed encryption algorithms, for instance, the advanced encryption standard and additional data safety standards.

The remote keyless system allows the car user to gain entry into his or her car devoid of the use of physical lock of the car. This system signals whether the car is unlocked or locked by the utilization of a combination of actions such as flashing of the indicator lights and a distinctive sound similar to that of the horn. Additional apart from the closing and opening of the car the other characteristic of the remote keyless system is the trunk, rooftop or windows.

Some of the keyless remote systems have a panic button which triggers the car alarm system. The remote keyless system is operated through the use of radio frequencies for instance in Japan and North America they operate on 315 MHz and 433.92 MHz in Europe.

The operating range of the spectrum differs from one manufacturer to the other. For instance, the Ford remote keyless system is within a range of 5 meters for Japan and 20 meters for Europe and North America and other markets where the transmission power is limited by the laws of the land. The distance between the vehicle and the remote sensing device is not straight and is affected by corners and pillars and small window apertures slow down the signal thus reducing the distance it can cover.

Similar technology has been used to run garage doors since the early 1950s. The transmitters that were used then were much simpler, and they transmitted a single non-encrypted message to the garage door opener which would respond by locking or unlocking the garage door.

On the other hand, keyless entry system allows control of doors fitted with Schüco door manager which provide a convenient platform for opening, closing, and locking the door without the need of a key. The Door Control System is integrated with a port management system with maximum modularity providing a high-level design with the current high-level technological devices. The Schüco door manager is a dependable system which controls access to secure areas.

The access right is provided through the identification of an individual’s fingerprints by using Schüco fingerprints systems, keypads or card readers. These systems ensure that only specific people are allowed entrance to secure areas for a specified period to prevent possible use of illegal substances such as fraud debit and credit cards. Online based Schüco fingerprints systems have a terminal server which communicates with specified door managers through a local area network connection. In this system, access rights around the world are performed centrally and conveniently from a personal computer.

Viper Smart Key is another technology that uses the smartphone to lock and unlock the vehicle. This technology works with the installation of the Viper smart key system in the smartphone as a standalone unit to control locking and unlocking vehicles and buildings door. On the other hand, Viper smart key can be added virtually to any remote start systems allowing an individual to control his/her vehicle using their smartphones.

However, the Viper Smart Key technology has a lot of advantages to the users since it unlocks the door and disarms the Viper system as the person approaches the door. Additionally, viper smart key technology locks the door and arms the system as an individual walks away from the entrance. Moreover, this system is compatible with many Viper security systems thus more convenient and effective to users with this security systems.

The mechanical digital door locks provide keyless entry to a building through changing of digital codes combination. The digital codes combinations are provided to allow unlocking and to lock the door. However, incorrect entry of the codes will prevent the door from opening whereby the user will have to contact the providers to check on the locks. On the other hand, digital door locks are effective and convenient since they provide a guarantee of high security since no one can have access to the building without the correct combination codes.

In addition, digital locks have various advantages in that they are battery powered whereby they still work even during blackouts. For example, the Yale digital locks use a set of 4 AA batteries whereby if the battery reaches a critical level, light up warning sign is shown on the lock. In addition, digital door locks are bought with a free hotline whereby in the case of encountering any problems, a user can contact customer care using the free hotline.

Moreover, digital locks are safer than ordinary locks because they have an alarm that switches off when an intruder tries to break into the building. Additionally, digital locks have faked pin functions which identify the owner’s pin after a trial of numerous numbers to prevent anybody else from accessing the pin. On the other hand, digital locks have sensitive screen keypad without buttons thus making it hard for an intruder to trace the pin. However, digital locks allow frequent changing of the codes to ensure the lock remains effective by restricting access.

Similar technology has been employed in fingerprint identification which has been adopted widely in the day to day life. This adaptation is commonly in laptop computers which have been widely used to replace the input of a password on the keyboard. Another application is in the mobile devices such as cell phones. However, many residence and buildings use fingerprint identification as a security system. In most cases, individual’s fingerprints are integrated into the key-less entry system to enhance security by preventing key guessing attacks and thief stealing attacks.

For the use of fingerprints identification, fingerprint images are obtained from capacitance-based silicon sensors which use electric current signals to simulate the epidermis and store the changes in electric signals using packed matrices of capacitors on the surface of the sensors. Once the changes are stored, the fingerprint image is pre-processed to filter distortion from the noise and other environmental conditions.

After filtering distortions, fingerprints are converted into feature values by ensuring that different fingerprints do not produce the same value. After the conversion, the fingerprints features are compared to those stored in the database whereby the matching score will come out after comparison. Whereby qualification is granted when comparison score is greater than the metal crossing the entrance of a house or a room, while qualification is denied when the comparison score is less than the metal crossing the entrance of a house or a room.

On the other hand, fingerprint identification has been adopted in the vehicles to identify driver’s fingerprints to re-establish the driver’s status. Fingerprint identification in a vehicle involves a remote control, keyless entry, and an immobilizer. When a driver put his hand on the car door and tries to open it, the antenna electronics sends out a low-frequency signal to the driver’s portable transponder which is activated.

All portable transponders within the transmission line will receive the signal, but only one transponder will be used for security check. After the portable transponder is identified, antenna electronics will send signals to open the door and another signal to the control unit to initiate the automatic re-establishment of the driver’s status. The control unit will then condition the seat and the rear mirror in line with the driver’s preferences.

Work cited

Pei, Dingyi. Information Security and Cryptology: Third Sklois Conference, Inscrypt 2007, Xining, China, August 31 – September 5, 2007 : Revised Selected Papers. Berlin [etc.: SpringerLink [host, 2008.]].

Kitsos, Paris, and Yan Zhang. Rfid Security: Techniques, Protocols and System-on-Chip Design. New York: Springer, 2008.

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