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Secure Payment Without Leaving a Trace

Paying for public passenger transport tickets with a smartphone.

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology researchers have developed a secure, anonymous online payment system.

Credit: Gabi Zachmann/KIT

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany have developed a secure and anonymous system for making online payments. They say the system is basically an "electronic purse" that works anonymously, while also preventing misuse.

The "black-box accumulation plus" (BBA+) protocol developed by the team transfers all necessary account data to the card or smartphone used and guarantees its confidentiality with the help of cryptographic methods.

In addition, the team notes BBA+ offers security guarantees for the operator of the bonus or payment system, including a correct account balance that is mathematically constructed so the identity of the user is disclosed as soon as an attempt is made to pay with a manipulated account.

"Our new protocol guarantees privacy and security for customers during offline operation as well," notes KIT's Andy Rupp.

The researchers will present the system next week at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2017) in Dallas, TX.

From Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
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