The Foundational Trust Module (FTM) is created using a secure microprocessor capable of performing all required biometric processing and secure storage of keys. The foundational device trust would satisfy the below requirements.

  • The module has the ability to securely generate, store, and process cryptographic keys.

  • Generation of asymmetric and symmetric keys with TRNG.

  • The module has the ability to protect keys from extraction.

  • The module has to protect the keys from physical tampering, temperature, frequency, and voltage-related attacks.

  • The module could withstand Hardware cloning.

  • The module could withstand probing attacks

  • The module provides memory segregation for cryptographic operations and protection against buffer overflow attacks

  • The module provides the ability to withstand cryptographic side-channel attacks like Differential Power analysis attacks, and timing attacks.

  • CAVP validated the implementation of the cryptographic algorithm.

  • The module has the ability to perform a cryptographically valid, secure boot.

  • The module has the ability to run trusted applications.

The foundational device trust derived from this module is used to enable trust-based computing for biometric capture. The foundational device trust module provides a trusted execution environment based on the following:

  • Secure Boot

    • Ability to cryptographically verify code before execution.

    • Ability to check for integrity violations of the module or device.

    • Halt upon failure.

    • The ability to securely upgrade and perform forward-only upgrades to thwart downgrade attacks.

    • SHA256 hash equivalent or above should be used for all hashing requirements

    • All root of trust is provisioned upon first boot or before.

    • All upgrades would be considered successful only after a successful boot with proper hash and signature verification.

    • The boot should fail upon hash or signature failures and never operate in an intermediary state.

    • A maximum of 10 failed attempts should lock the upgrade process and brick the device. However, chip manufacturers can decide to be less than 10.

  • Secure application

    • Ability to run applications that are trusted.

    • Protect against the downgrading of applications.

    • Isolated memory to support cryptographic operations.

    • All trust is anchored during the first boot and not modifiable.


The FTM should have at least one of the following certifications in each category to meet the given requirement.

Category: Cryptographic Algorithm Implementation


The supported algorithm and curves are listed here

Category: FTM Chip

(ONE of the following certifications)

  • FIPS 140-2 L3 or above

  • PCI PTS 5 or above (Pre-certified)

  • PCI - PED 2.0 or above (Pre-Certified)

  • One of the following Common Criteria (CC) certification

    • https://www.commoncriteriaportal.org/files/ppfiles/pp0035a.pdf

    • https://www.commoncriteriaportal.org/files/ppfiles/pp0084a_pdf.pdf

System/Device Level Tamper (optional)

System/Device Level Tamper Responsiveness is recommended (not mandatory). In this case, FTM should be capable of showcasing Tamper Responsiveness (keys must be erased) against a tamper at the system/device level.

Threats to Protect

The FTM should protect against the following threats.

  • Hardware cloning attacks - Ability to protect against attacks that could result in a duplicate with keys.

  • Hardware Tamper attacks

    • Physical tamper - No way to physically tamper and obtain its secrets.

    • Voltage & frequency related attacks - Should shield against voltage leaks and should prevent low voltage. The FTM should always be in either the state operational normally or inoperable. The FTM should never be operable when its input voltages are not met.

    • Temperature attacks on the crypto block - Low or High the FTM are expected to operate or reach an inoperable state. No state in between.

  • Differential Power Analysis attack.

  • Probing attacks - FTM should protect its surface area against any probe-related attacks.

  • Segregation of memory for execution of cryptographic operation (crypto block should be protected from buffer overflow type attacks).

  • Vulnerability of the cryptographic algorithm implementation.

  • Attacks against secure boot & secure upgrade.

  • TEE/Secure processor OS attack.

Foundational Trust Module Identity

Upon the FTM provider's approval by the MOSIP adopters, the FTM provider would submit a self-signed public certificate to the adopter. Let us call this the FTM root. The adopter would use this certificate to seed their device's trust database. The FTM root and their key pairs should be generated and stored in FIPS 140-2 Level 3 or more compliant devices with no possible mechanism to extract the keys. The foundational module upon its first boot is expected to generate a random asymmetric key pair and provide the public part of the key to obtain a valid certificate. The FTM provider would validate to ensure that the chip is unique and would issue a certificate with the issuer set to FTM root. The entire certificate issuance would be in a secured provisioning facility. Auditable upon notice by the adopters or its approved auditors. The certificate issued to the module will have a defined validity period as per the MOSIP certificate policy document defined by the MOSIP adopters. This certificate and private key within the FTM chip are expected to be in its permanent memory.

The validity of the chip certificate can not exceed 20 years from the date of manufacturing.

The FTM should have at least one of the following certifications in each category to meet the given requirement.

Secure Provisioning

Secure provisioning applies to both the FTM and the Device providers.

  1. The devices and FTM should have a mechanism to protect against fraudulent attempts to create or replicate.

  2. The device and FTM trust should be programmed in a secure facility which is certified by the respective MOSIP adopters.

  3. The organization should have a mechanism to segregate the FTMs and Devices built for MOSIP using a cryptographically valid and repeatable process.

  4. All debug options within the FTM or device should be disabled permanently

  5. All key creations needed for provisioning should happen automatically using FIPS 140-2 Level 3 or higher devices. No individual or group or organization should have a mechanism to influence this behaviour.

  6. Before the devices/FTM leaves the secure provisioning facility all the necessary trust should be established and should not be re-programmable.

As there is no adopter-specific information being exchanged at the management server or the FTM provisioning server, there are no mandates from MOSIP where these are located globally. However, the adopter is recommended to have an audit and contractual mechanisms to validate the compliance of these components at any point in time.

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