Section: Software


Participants : Graham Steel [correspondant] , Romain Bardou.

See also the web page http://tookan.gforge.inria.fr/ .

Tookan is a security analysis tool for cryptographic devices such as smartcards, security tokens and Hardware Security Modules that support the most widely-used industry standard interface, RSA PKCS#11. Each device implements PKCS#11 in a slightly different way since the standard is quite open, but finding a subset of the standard that results in a secure device, i.e. one where cryptographic keys cannot be revealed in clear, is actually rather tricky. Tookan analyses a device by first reverse engineering the exact implementation of PKCS#11 in use, then building a logical model of this implementation for a model checker, calling a model checker to search for attacks, and in the case where an attack is found, executing it directly on the device. Tookan has been used to find at least a dozen previously unknown flaws in commercially available devices.

The first results using Tookan were published in 2010  [48] and a six-month licence was granted to Boeing to use the tool. In 2011, a contract was signed with a major UK bank. Tookan is now the subject of a CSATT transfer action resulting in the hiring of an engineer, Romain Bardou, who started on September 1st, 2011. During 2012 Bardou and Steel implemented a new version of Tookan that is intended to form the technological basis for a spin-off company to be created in 2013. As a result of the transfer of Graham Steel and Romain Bardou to team Prosecco, this project is being continued in that team.