Industry’s First End-to-End LoRa® Security Solution Provides Secure Key Provisioning with Microchip
CryptoAuthentication™ device and managed LoRa join servers enable developers to deploy secure connected applications on LoRaWAN™ networks
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, January 31, 2019 — As the LoRa® (Long Range) technology ecosystem accelerates, security remains an area for improvement in the market due to vulnerabilities that leave the network and application server keys accessible in the memory of modules and microcontrollers (MCUs) paired with a LoRaWAN™ stack. If keys are accessed in a LoRaWAN device, a hacker can impersonate it and authorize fraudulent transactions, which can result in a scalable attack with substantial losses in service revenue, recovery costs and brand equity. Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP), in partnership with The Things Industries, today announced the industry’s first end-to-end security solution that adds secure, trusted and managed authentication to LoRaWAN devices at a global scale. The solution brings hardware-based security to the LoRa ecosystem, combining the MCU- and radio-agnostic ATECC608A-MAHTN-T CryptoAuthentication device with The Things Industries’ managed join servers and Microchip’s secure provisioning service.
The joint solution significantly simplifies provisioning LoRaWAN devices and addresses the inherent logistical challenges that come with managing LoRaWAN authentication keys from inception and throughout the life of a device. Traditionally, network and application server keys are unprotected in the edge node, and unmonitored, as LoRaWAN devices pass through various supply chain steps and are installed in the field. The Common Criteria Joint Interpretation Library (JIL) “high”-rated ATECC608A comes pre-configured with secure key storage, keeping a device’s LoRaWAN secret keys isolated from the system so that sensitive keys are never exposed throughout the supply chain nor when the device is deployed. Microchip’s secure manufacturing facilities safely provision keys, eliminating the risk of exposure during manufacturing. Combined with The Things Industries’ agnostic secure join server service to the LoRaWAN network and application server providers, the solution decreases the risk of device identity corruption by establishing a trusted authentication when a device connects to a network.
Similar to how a prepaid data plan works for a mobile device, each purchase of an ATECC608A-MAHTN-T device comes with one year of managed LoRaWAN join server service through The Things Industries. Once a device identifies itself to join a LoRaWAN network, the network contacts The Things Industries join server to verify that the identity comes from a trusted device and not a fraudulent one. The temporary session keys are then sent securely to the network server and application server of choice. The Things Industries’ join server supports any LoRaWAN network, from commercially operated networks to private networks built on open-source components. After the one-year period, The Things Industries provides the option to extend the service.
Hardware-based security is imperative for today’s connected applications. Similar to how a subscriber identification module (SIM) card securely stores an international mobile identity number and its related key to authenticate subscribers on cell phones, the ATECC608A adds a hardware root of trust to the LoRa ecosystem to establish a trusted authentication when a device connects to the cloud.