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How to protect your brand and your battery driven application from the risks arising from the use of compatible batteries in original devices ? Use WISeKey`s VaultIC183/186 solutions

WISeKey’s revolutionary battery authentication solution provides an innovative method to protect brands and their customers from the risks arising from the use of compatible batteries in original devices: a brand’s reputation, liability and revenue are secured, while customers’ safety and assets are preserved.

Batteries are well settled to be the preferred method for powering devices. We’ll find them in many equipment, including power tools, medical devices and electric vehicles. The advantages are obvious, but come with a flow of drawbacks that can easily ruin brand’s reputation: the aftermarket of batteries is huge and hundreds of companies are now proposing compatible batteries of questionable quality. Their performance decreases with their price. More importantly, low quality batteries can be dangerous: they can explode and damage devices, or even injure people.

Apart from that, compatible batteries jeopardize the original manufacturer’s revenue.

To cope with these issues, WISeKey proposes its highly secure WISeBattery solution, to uniquely identify and authenticate original batteries. It consists of a tamper resistant secure element, a digital identity securely generated and injected, a set of software libraries to reduce integration efforts, and a customization service if required. WISeKey aims at the highest standards of security and is certified Common Criteria and FIPS.


What is a digital Identity?

A digital identity is the digital equivalent of a passport or photo ID. It consists of a unique digital attribute stored in the device, recognized and certified by a trusted third party. This attribute is actually stored in a secure element, a tamper resistant microcontroller located in the device, holding a secret private key and a related public key cryptographically signed together with other information by this trusted Certificate Authority (CA).

Authenticating a battery

Authenticating a battery consists of checking if its certificate is correctly signed by the trusted CA and if its secret private key corresponds to the corresponding known public key contained in the certificate.

Obviously, this secret private key shall remain secret. Knowing this secret would allow hackers to produce clones of the original device – like printing an undetectable fake passport.

Therefore, the digital identity is stored in a tamper resistant chip, WISeKey’s VaultIC186 or VaultIC183, to be protected against all sorts of physical and logical attacks. The digital identity itself is generated by the globally trusted CA, the OISTE Foundation operated by WISeKey, and injected in WISeKey’s government grade secure production environment, with our VaultITrust service.

The authentication itself is performed by the host microcontroller of the device powered by the battery. WISeKey provides software libraries to help develop the microcontroller firmware.


Key Features of WISeBattery

WISeBattery consists of

  • Tamper resistant secure microcontroller with embedded firmware: VaultIC186 or VaultIC183
  • Generation of digital identities and certificates and injection of these into VaultIC186/VaultIC183 in WISeKey’s Common Criteria security certified production facility
  • Development of host microcontroller specific secure cryptographic library (WISeDeveloper service)
  • Example C-Source code of authentication process and communication protocol to be integrated into the host microcontroller firmware to reduce integration efforts


 Key Features of VaultIC186/VaultIC183

  • Unilateral authentication (host authenticates VaultIC) and mutual authentication (host and VaultIC authenticate each other)
  • On-chip host certificate validation for flexible host authentication
  • On-chip key pair generation
  • Elliptic Curve digital signature (GF2n) B-163 to B-283
  • 528-byte read/write user file system with configurable access control
  • Four 32-bit counters, secured by Elliptic Curve Cryptography and protected against power loss by anti-tearing mechanism
  • One Wire Interface (OWI) up to 100 kbps (VaultIC186) or I²C interface up to 400kbps (VaultIC183)
  • Tamper-resistant secure hardware (derived from Common Criteria EAL5+ certified product family) including:
    • Protection against side channel attacks
    • Monitoring of environmental parameters
    • Protected memory
  • 1.62V-5.5V power supply
  • Extended temperature range (-40°C to +105°C)
  • 6-DFN (2mm x 3mm) or custom package


WISeBattery architecture for power tools battery protection


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