The patent's assignee for patent number 8527426 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "When users have access to a communication network, then applications for conducting electronic commerce transactions such as banking, shopping, and gambling can be implemented securely in a straightforward manner. This is because the resources that need protection, namely money, can be secured by cryptographic means in the network. There are many protocols for conducting secure transactions on the Internet, such as the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) which permits electronic commerce by providing an encryption layer between the application/browser layer and the Internet's TCP/IP layer. (
"There are, however, many occasions when a user is in possession of a small computing device, but is not in communication with the network. There is currently a proliferation of lightweight handheld devices, such as the 3Com Palm Pilot, Windows CE devices, and even laptops that weigh under three pounds. Many of these devices are so portable that people can carry them in their pockets and use them at all times--while in a vehicle traveling, while in a public place, standing in line at a grocery store, sitting at a doctor's office, etc. In such scenarios, it is difficult to allow the user to perform financial transactions because interaction with servers is difficult or not possible. Moreover, it is assumed that the user has full access to the device, so secrets (such as cryptographic keys) cannot be safely stored on it. Accordingly, the prior art does not enable a user to securely conduct electronic transactions on an untrusted remote electronic device."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present intention permits a user to conduct remote transactions without a network while using an untrusted computing device, such as a hand held personal digital assistant or a laptop computer. The computing device is augmented with a smartcard reader, and the user obtains a smartcard and connects it to the device. This design can be used by an untrusted user to perform financial transactions, such as placing bets on the outcome of a probabilistic computation. Protocols are presented for adding (purchasing) or removing (selling) value on the smartcard, again without requiring a network connection. Using the instant protocols, neither the user nor the entity issuing the smartcards can benefit from cheating.
"The protocols described below have numerous advantages over the prior art and satisfy the following security requirements, particularly as applied to gambling applications: (1) only the issuer of the smartcards is able to add or subtract money from the smartcard without participating in any particular transaction; (2) the issuer must refund the amount on the smartcard whenever the user wishes; (3) once a user commits an amount to a transaction or places a bet on a game, she cannot prevent the loss of that amount if she loses; (4) the user can detect a fraudulent transaction such as when she wins a game but is not credited for her bet; (5) the issuer must publicize the algorithms and probabilities that are actually used by the smartcard (e.g. the house must announce the rules for each game and it must be impossible for the smartcard to weigh the probability further in favor of the house); (6) the issuer can set limits on transactions on the smartcard (e.g. placing limits on bets); and (7) the user cannot risk more than the amount on the smartcard in any transaction. Thus, with respect to gambling, the user can play probabilistic games with assurance that if she wins, she will actually win the money in the bet, and the house knows that users will not be able to cheat. In addition, the user is guaranteed that the odds of winning published by the smartcard are accurate.
"These and other advantages of the invention will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art by reference to the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings."
For additional information on this patent, see: Aiello, William A.; Rubin, Aviel Q.; Strauss, Martin J.. Using Smartcards to Enable Probabilistic Transactions on an Untrusted Device. U.S. Patent Number 8527426, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Legal Issues, Information Technology, Information and Cryptography,
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