ETG System: Tracking and Guarantee Label for the security of
New Generation Banknotes of the UFWC project
AIM: This document provides a brief outline of a system that raises the security level on authenticity for all types of paper documents (e.g. banknotes, contracts, packaging. See areas of application.) and it is inserted in the UFWC program (tests of paper or precious banknotes)
TECHNOLOGY: This system is the integration of two technologies:
1. Cryptography (symmetric or asymmetric) and/or hashing.
Thanks to cryptography, even integrated with hashing techniques, the authenticity, integrity, privacy and non-disclaimer of information can be guaranteed. Such a guarantee is made possible by a security code that is associated unequivocally with the information you wish to safeguard. Said security code can take the following forms, according to the application in question: digital signature, ciphering or hashing of information, or any combination of these.
The security code generated as described above is codified as a barcode in paper documents. As a result, it can be read and verified rapidly using appropriate devices with optic and/or magnetic readers.
EXAMPLE APPLICATION (Figure 1): Let’s take the example that we wish to prevent a banknote serial number being tampered with. The serial number can be signed or simply codified (given the limited length of serial numbers) using a private key belonging to the authority that has issued the banknote. The result of this operation is a security code, in the form of a barcode, that can be printed on the banknote. The security code is a key element for guaranteeing the security features that we wish to ensure. Indeed, this tool will allow us to guarantee the integrity of banknote serial numbers, in other words, they cannot be tampered with.
Serial number authenticity can be verified with a simple barcode scanner and appropriate software to decode the barcode using the public key of the authority issuing the banknote. The barcode scanner, software and issuing authority’s public key can be freely distributed to those requesting them (organisations, businesses or ordinary citizens). It is important to note that this process is entirely analogous with the digital signature process.
NOTE: It must be stressed that this mechanism prevents tampering with serial numbers, but not banknote duplication. Should a counterfeiter produce a thousand copies of the same banknote, all with the same serial number and corresponding barcode, the system would not be able to detect the fraud.
On the other hand, inserting the barcode guarantees the detection of fraud that alters the serial number but leaves the barcode intact (and vice versa). It is important to note that it is impossible to print a fake banknote with an invented barcode and serial number, since this would require the counterfeiter to have access to the private key belonging to the banknote issuing authority. This key, by definition, remains exclusive to the issuing authority.
In short, this system allows us to guarantee that a serial number has not been tampered with, but not that it has not been duplicated.
Nonetheless, the inclusion of the barcode automates verification of any duplicate banknotes. Indeed, once fraud has been discovered, you need only scan the given banknote barcode and consult a database of barcodes for duplicate banknotes to reveal foul play.
FIELDS OF APPLICATION: It is worth noting that a similar mechanism to that described above can be effectively used to guarantee the authenticity of information carried in: medical prescriptions; checks; ID (e.g. passport, ID card); qualification certificates (e.g. driver’s licence, certificates of legal qualification); fiscal documents (e.g. fiscal receipts, invoices); legal documents (e.g. contracts, laws, statutes); financial documents (e.g. financial statements); season tickets for events (e.g. football, concerts, museums) or transport and bus/train tickets; pharmaceutical packaging; and product packaging. In short, any paper document that carried important information.This document provides a brief outline of a system that raises the security level on authenticity for all types of paper documents (e.g. banknotes, contracts, packaging. See areas of application.) and it is inserted in the UFWC program (tests of paper or precious banknotes)