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Entrust, 3M Collaborate to Provide End-to-End Secure ePassport Solution

ePassport leaders help governments move toward EAC standard by providing ePassport readers, PKI technology in a single platform

DALLAS, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — As ePassport technology continues to be adopted by countries around the globe, many seek a method to deploy border security capabilities in an efficient, cost-effective manner. In response, Entrust, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENTU) and 3M (NYSE: MMM) announce a partnership to provide an integrated end-to-end secure ePassport solution, which provides the necessary components to implement Basic Access Control (BAC) and Extended Access Control (EAC) ePassport security, while also securing the surrounding data and communications infrastructures.

"As two of the world’s leading ePassport experts, this collaboration is an important achievement as we help global governments deploy first-generation or migrate to second-generation ePassports," said Rich Sanders, business manager, 3M Security Systems Division. "Entrust is a pioneer in ePassport encryption technology and this agreement strengthens both of our ePassport offerings by providing interested governments a single, interoperable source for a comprehensive ePassport solution."

With technical integration already complete, Entrust and 3M will offer an integrated end-to-end secure ePassport solution. A global leader in the public key infrastructure technology, Entrust PKI secures the world’s top e-government environments, as well as supports the two largest ePassport deployments in the world.

"The partnership is a fundamental step toward helping governments efficiently secure their borders by leveraging a proven ePassport solution that is not only reliable, but scalable," said Entrust Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bill Conner. "3M is an innovator in ePassport reader technology; Entrust has long been the champion of public key infrastructure, particularly for use in government and government-to-citizen environments. This is a natural partnership that will help global governments usher in the EAC standard in the coming years."

The Entrust-3M partnership was praised by Brussels Interoperability Group (BIG) chairman Bob Carter. BIG is a Technical Working Group established by the European Union (EU) "Article 6 Committee." The group’s purpose is to resolve the problems of interoperability among electronic passports of EU and Schengen states for the European implementation of EAC.

"With national security a priority among governments in Europe and around the globe, it’s exciting to see leaders in the ePassport and eID security space such as 3M and Entrust collaborating to provide interoperable security solutions," said Carter. "Such collaboration will be critical to the efficient rollout of border control systems to meet the EAC specifications."

BIG set the standard for EAC, which is the second generation of ePassports and allows governments to leverage a stronger biometric that is more difficult to impersonate on the RFID chip, typically a fingerprint or iris scan. EAC ePassports also require the encryption of the chip contents; even if a criminal has the ability to impersonate the enhanced biometric, access to the chip contents is denied with encryption.

Labeled as Phase 2, EAC requirements imply a significant jump in the need for technical cooperation and interoperability between nations. Entrust and 3M have mature underlying technology to provide stability and scalability within this advanced ePassport technology.

"With the European Union’s deadline for adopting EAC less than a year away, governments should begin implementing or evolving their ePassport strategies today," said Conner. "Now that advanced EAC ePassport technology can be implemented via an integrated, comprehensive platform, governments can expedite the process of providing stronger security for their passports, save money and instill trust among citizens."

Because of the stringent access controls of the second-generation ePassports, the PKI requirements are much higher, demanding a vendor that can provide scalability, reliability and unprecedented performance. It is this PKI foundation that helps ensure ePassports can be accessed at border stations with proper authentication, but not by criminals who may seek access to the data for purposes of manipulation or impersonation.

Created to mitigate passport forgery, first-generation ePassports use a Basic Access Control (BAC) RFID chip containing a simple biometric (usually a photo of the individual) along with the identity information of an individual duplicated on the paper document. Entrust provides the digital signatures on BAC ePassports that help prevent a cloned or modified passport, when it is properly processed, from being used to cross a border.

Initial ePassport projects typically standardize on BAC, which is in production in Europe and many parts of the world. Entrust provides security for the BAC ePassports of a number of top e-governments in the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Singapore, Taiwan and New Zealand.

Entrust Authority 8.0 for ePassports, one of Entrust’s proven PKI platforms, provides cryptographic architecture that enables trust of ePassports between countries. Modular and fully integrated, the Entrust Authority PKI portfolio is built on the foundation of Entrust Authority Security Manager, the certification authority (CA) system responsible for issuing and managing users’ digital identities. Approximately 1,000 government and commercial organizations have purchased Entrust PKI solutions since Entrust introduced its first PKI.

About 3M

A recognized leader in research and development, 3M produces thousands of innovative products for dozens of diverse markets. 3M’s core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms — often in combination — to a wide array of customer needs. With $24 billion in sales, 3M employs 79,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 60 countries. For more information, visit us at http://www.3m.com/.

About Entrust

Entrust (NASDAQ: ENTU) secures digital identities and information for consumers, enterprises and governments in more than 1,700 organizations spanning 60 countries. Leveraging a layered security approach to address growing risks, Entrust solutions help secure the most common digital identity and information protection pain points in an organization. These include SSL, authentication, fraud detection, shared data protection and e-mail security. For information, call 888-690-2424, e-mail entrust@entrust.com or visit http://www.entrust.com/.

Entrust is a registered trademark of Entrust, Inc. in the United States and certain other countries. In Canada, Entrust is a registered trademark of Entrust Limited. All Entrust product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of Entrust, Inc. or Entrust Limited. All other company and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060720/NYTH074LOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com

SOURCE: Entrust, Inc.

CONTACT: Brooke Hamilton, Media Relations of Entrust, Inc.,
+1-972-713-5915, brooke.hamilton@entrust.com; or Connie Thompson of 3M Public
Relations, +1-651-733-8914, http://www.3m.com/PressContact

Web site: http://www.entrust.com/