schiphol gatesScience Media Partners Ltd, organiser of the security document conference and exhibition – SDW 2013 – is organising the next phase of global ePassport interoperability testing at a special event to be held alongside the SDW show on 21-23 May 2013 in London.

The interoperability tests (SDW InterOp 2013) will be focused on the new Supplemental Access Control (SAC) mechanism, which is scheduled to be implemented on travel documents after December 2014 in order to safeguard ePassport security for at least the next 10 to 20 years.
To perform the technical aspects of the tests, Science Media Partners has engaged the independent services of secunet Security Networks AG. secunet has also been instrumental in supporting and running earlier ePassport interoperability tests, including acting as the technical lead in the 2006 Berlin ePassport interoperability tests.
The new Supplemental Access Control (SAC) security mechanism was specified in a Technical Report by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and most countries within the European Union are mandated to include this capability from the end of December 2014.
Whilst the existing Basic Access Control (BAC) specification is still seen as adequate for protecting data held within an ePassport chip, the randomness of the encryption key (which is dependent on the ePassport’s Machine Readable Zone) is not anticipated to be suitably future-proofed against modern attack threats.
The SDW InterOp 2013 event is open to:
• Document (booklets or cards) providers supporting SAC – plus providers of inlays and chip operating systems;
• Document verification system providers;
• Observers – who will be able to attend the tests and gather information.
The three-day event begins with document registration and set-up on 21st May. Document conformity and cross-over testing will take place on 22nd May, to be followed by a private SAC expert workshop. This will be followed on 23rd May by a session within the SDW 2013 conference programme, which will include the high-level results of the conformity and crossover tests.
secunet will operate all technical aspects of the InterOp test including:
• Evaluating SAC document conformity according to the recently updated test specification – BSI TR-03105 Part 3.2;
• Evaluating document behaviour in a typical document verification process;
• Evaluating crossover behaviour between provided document samples and verification systems.

Mark Lockie, Event Director of SDW 2013 commented: “We are proud to host the next in the series of ePassport interoperability tests. SAC will bring benefits to citizens and authorities by improving security levels. Before roll out can start, however, a great deal of work needs to be done to ensure a smooth implementation. This testing event will provide a significant opportunity for document producers, verification system providers and governments to benchmark the extent to which their efforts towards conformity and interoperability have been reached.

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