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2010 International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (2010)
Krakow, Poland
Feb. 15, 2010 to Feb. 18, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7695-3965-2
pp: 96-103
Online auctions of governmental bonds and CO2 certificates are challenged by high availability requirements in face of high peak loads around the auction deadline. Traditionally, these requirements are addressed by cluster solutions. However, with strong requirements regarding hardware ownership and only a few auctions per owner per year hardware clusters are a rather ineffective solution.Consequently, we contribute with a solution that alleviates the dependability problems by shifting them into the security domain: Key idea is to provide a secure timestamp service that allows users to place bids locally until the deadline, independent of server availability. This allows to mitigate peak-loads and network or server outages as the transfer of bids to the server can be delayed until after a performance peak or the repair of a failed component.In this paper in particular, we contribute with a secure time synchronization and timestamping protocol tailored to online auctions where we apply secure timestamps on smart cards locally connected to the bidder's computer. Moreover, our timestamping protocol is robust with respect to man-in-the-middle delay attacks. Finally, we prove the feasibility of our approach based on a .NET smart card implementation and conclude with a discussion of current smart card limitations.
Smart cards, Synchronization, Availability, Security

G. Starnberger, L. Froihofer and K. M. Goeschka, "Using Smart Cards for Tamper-Proof Timestamps on Untrusted Clients," 2010 International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security(ARES), Krakow, Poland, 2010, pp. 96-103.
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