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Status Update: The deadline for this challenge has been extended to May 22nd, 11:59pm ET

EXPANDING THE SIM CARD USE

FOR PUBLIC SAFETY CHALLENGE

Overview

NIST’s Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) and its challenge partners are requesting assistance to explore the possibilities and show that the SIM card can be used as a secure storage container for public safety application credentials. Solvers are encouraged to participate in the competition, Expanding the SIM Card Use for Public Safety Challenge, for a total prize purse of $100,000.

The purpose of this challenge is to assess the potential of storing ‘mobile application authentication credentials’ in a secure location on the SIM card. There are several goals PSCR hopes to achieve through this challenge. By leveraging solvers’ outside-of-the-box thinking to create innovative two-factor authentication solutions while educating public safety stakeholders on the benefit of authentication standards.

Public Safety personnel use their mobile devices to access sensitive information during their everyday job requirements and in emergency situations. For improved mobile communications, public safety personnel need to be able to securely store, process and share sensitive information. However, current external secure storage solutions can be bulky and cumbersome to use in emergency situations. They can also be expensive for public safety organizations to acquire and manage with their limited budgets. Current best practices recommend standards-based two-factor authentication, which often requires extra hardware, such as a token or a smart card, further inflating costs and increasing time in an emergency.

The Challenge includes three phases and requires contestants to: securely store a file on a SIM card; create a mobile application that accesses a user’s credentials stored on a SIM card; and authenticates to a FIDO2 service provider. This Challenge also seeks to convene first responders, mobile device providers, network providers, authentication providers, researchers, and innovators to work together and advance the state of mobile device security for public safety.

Solvers are encouraged to participate in the Expanding the SIM Card Use for Public Safety Challenge with prizes totaling

$100,000

Should a contestant prove successful,

their solution could provide significant time and cost savings for public safety organizations.

         For example, the solution would provide:

Increased security of public safety data on mobile and wearable devices

Separate hardware storage container without an external, bulky device

Sharing of mobile devices by multiple users by exchanging SIMs

Spur ideas for other potential hardware authentication solutions on mobile devices

Increased versatility by adding the ability to provision credentials to the SIM card remotely

Potential cost savings, since public safety organization would not need to purchase separate hardware authentication tokens.

Prizes

Phase 1: Concept Paper

 

 

Up to 20 solvers will each win $1,000 for prototype development.

Phase 2: File Stored on SIM Card

 

 

Up to 20 solvers will each win $2,000 for prototype development.

Phase 3: Verified Authentication

1st Place: $30,000
2nd Place: $15,000
3rd Place: $7,500

Creativity in Public Safety Award (optional award): $4,000
Most Commercially Promising (optional award): business technical assistance services valued up to $3,500

Website implemented by

Under contract with Challenge Host:

Challenge Partners

Website implemented by

Under contract with Challenge Host:

Challenge Partners

The Expanding the SIM Card Use for Public Safety Challenge website is implemented by Circuit Media under contract with NIST PSCR. This website is not owned or operated by the Government. All content, data, and information included on or collected by this site is created, managed, and owned by parties other than the Government.