Security

Google announces formation of the Android Ready SE Alliance

A major goal of this alliance is to enable a consistent, interoperable, and demonstrably secure applets across the Android ecosystem.

Google has announced the formation of the Android Ready SE Alliance, a new initiative that aims to drive the adoption of digital keys and driver’s licenses.

Most modern phones now include discrete tamper-resistant hardware called a Secure Element (SE), which Google believes offers the best path for introducing new consumer use cases in Android.

Google previously developed its own tamper-resistant hardware enclave called the Titan M, which also enabled tamper-resistant key storage for Android apps using StrongBox. Now, Google is launching the General Availability (GA) version of StrongBox for SE, an applet that’s qualified and ready for use by OEM partners. StrongBox is also applicable to WearOS, Android Auto Embedded, and Android TV.

It’s available from vendors including Giesecke+Devrient, Kigen, NXP, STMicroelectronics, and Thales.

A major goal of this alliance is to enable a consistent, interoperable, and demonstrably secure applets across the Android ecosystem. Validated implementations of Android Ready SE applets build even stronger trust in the Android Platform.

OEMs that adopt Android Ready SE can produce devices that are more secure and allow for remote updates to enable compelling new use cases as they are introduced into the Android platform.

OEMs that are part of the Android Ready SE Alliance must meet the following requirements:

  1. Pick the appropriate, validated hardware part from their SE vendor
  2. Enable SE to be initialized from the bootloader and provision the root-of-trust (RoT) parameters through the SPI interface or cryptographic binding
  3. Work with Google to provision Attestation Keys/Certificates in the SE factory
  4. Use the GA version of the StrongBox for the SE applet, adapted to your SE
  5. Integrate HAL code
  6. Enable an SE upgrade mechanism
  7. Run CTS/VTS tests for StrongBox to verify that the integration is done correctly

Google says it is working with their ecosystem to prioritize and deliver Mobile driver’s license and Identity Credentials and Digital car keys Applets in conjunction with corresponding Android feature releases.

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