No assignee for this patent application has been made.
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to mobile apps, encryption, and mobile devices. More specifically, it relates to encryption and secure communications for unlocking and recovering a locked app on a mobile device.
"As mobile apps proliferate, especially in the enterprise environment, the need to secure them becomes increasingly important. The apps executed on users or employees' personal mobile devices and contain sensitive or confidential data. Enterprises and individual users will have a growing concern about securing these apps and ensuring that communications between the mobile apps and the appropriate server are safe. For this reason, the apps are security wrapped by the app provider, typically before they are downloaded on to the user's personal mobile device. One feature of an app being wrapped is requiring that the user enter a passphrase to access the app. As may often occur, a user may forget a password for a specific app or may enter the wrong password multiple times (failed login attempts) thereby essentially locking himself out of the app.
"Presently, in order to unlock and recover from such a lock-out, the user has to go through a tedious and undesirable experience. Moreover, the procedure for unlocking the app and establishing a new password to access the app may be vulnerable to security breaches and hacking. For example, the communications between the mobile device and the app provider server to establish a new password or to unlock the keystore, may not be secure, thereby compromising security of the wrapped app. It would be desirable to have processes for unlocking and recovering from a locked app that are easy for the user, especially when using a small mobile device touch-sensitive keypad. It would also be desirable to have the processes for unlocking an app be secure in all its communications between the app or device and the server."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "One aspect of the present invention is a method of unlocking and recovering a secured app that has been locked and is inaccessible by the user (e.g., forgotten password, too many failed login attempts, and the like). Another aspect of the present invention is a method of wrapping the app and initializing the app to prepare the app, server, and device for the unlocking and recovering the app when it is locked. This wrapping and initialization method begins with the server generating an asymmetric key pair and transmitting the public key component to the mobile device together with the wrapped app. On the device the user launches the app and enters a long-term passphrase. The device also randomly generates a recovery passphrase. This recovery passphrase is encrypted with the public key the device received from the server. The unencrypted version of the recovery passphrase is deleted from the device. The device and server are now prepared for executing the unlock and recovery procedure of the present invention when needed by the user.
"A method of unlocking and recovering a locked app begins with the user authenticating himself to customer support through any suitable means. The user is then prompted by the locked app to enter the long-term passphrase that was established during app set-up. The passphrase is encrypted using the public key on the device. This and the encrypted recovery passphrase are displayed on the device. These are conveyed to customer support or to the server in a secure manner by the user. On the server both of these are decrypted using the private key. The recovery passphrase is encrypted using the long-term passphrase on the server and transmitted to the device.
"On the device the user launches the locked app and the app is passed the encrypted recovery key as an input parameter. The user is allowed to enter the long-term passphrase which is used to decrypt the recovery passphrase. The keystore on the device is unlocked using the decrypted recovery passphrase, there by unlocking the locked app. A standard 'change password' screen is then displayed to the user and the user enters a new long-term passphrase and which stage a new recovery passphrase is generated.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"References are made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of the description and in which are shown, by way of illustration, specific embodiments of the present invention:
"FIG. 1A is a block diagram showing an overview of the app control process of the present invention;
"FIG. 1B is a block diagram showing an alternative embodiment of an app control process of the present invention;
"FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing components of an app security program in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;
"FIG. 3 is a flow diagram showing a process of making an app secure before downloading it on to a device in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;
"FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of a method performed in policy manager in accordance with one embodiment;
"FIG. 5 is a flow diagram showing a process of a security-wrapped app executing on a handset or mobile device in accordance with one embodiment;
"FIG. 6 is a system architecture diagram of the app security control system in accordance with one embodiment;
"FIG. 7 is a block diagram of components for securing an app on a device during execution in accordance with one embodiment;
"FIG. 8 is a flow diagram of a process of securing an app on a device during execution of the app using integrated functionality of the device in accordance with one embodiment;
"FIG. 9 is a flow diagram of a process of making an app secure before downloading it using a template, followed by personalizing the app, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;
"FIG. 10 is a block diagram showing an overview of the process of segmenting an app through security wrapping in accordance with one embodiment;
"FIG. 11 is a block diagram of a mobile device and various logical components and execution areas within the device in accordance with one embodiment;
"FIG. 12 is a flow diagram showing processes for security wrapping an app and executing the app on a mobile device for the first time that enables secure recovery from a subsequent locked state in accordance with one embodiment;
"FIG. 13 is a flow diagram showing processes of unlocking and recovering from a locked app in accordance with one embodiment;
"FIG. 14 is a flow diagram showing other processes for security wrapping an app and executing the app on a mobile device for the first time in a way that enables secure recovery from a locked state in accordance with one embodiment;
"FIG. 15 is a flow diagram showing processes of unlocking or recovering from a locked app in accordance with one embodiment; and
"FIGS. 16A and 16B are block diagrams of a computing system suitable for implementing various embodiments of the present invention."
For more information, see this patent application: KENDALL,
Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Information Technology, Information and Data Encoding and Encryption.
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