Status crypto cards HOWTO: prob­lems with the card reader (sup­port could be bet­ter)

After hours (spread over weeks) I come to the con­clu­sion that there is a lot of po­ten­tial to im­prove the doc­u­ment­a­tion of card read­ers (but I doubt the card reader vendors will do it) and of the pcsc doc­u­ment­a­tion. It is not easy to ar­rive at a point where you un­der­stand everything. The com­pat­ib­il­ity list does not help much, as the card read­ers are partly past their end of life and the mod­els which re­place them are not lis­ted. Re­spect­ively the one I bought does not sup­port all the fea­tures I need. I even por­ted the driver to FreeBSD (not com­mit­ted, I wanted to test everything first) and a lot of stuff works, but one crit­ical part is that I can not store a cer­ti­fic­ate on the crypto card as the card reader or the driver  does not sup­port ex­ten­ded AP­DUs (needed to trans­fer more than 255 bytes to the card reader).

Well, the status so far:

  • I have a HOWTO what to in­stall to use crypto cards in FreeBSD
  • I have a HOWOT what to in­stall /​ con­fig­ure in Win­dows
  • I have a HOWTO re­gard­ing cre­at­ing keys on a open­pgp v2 card and how to use this key with ssh on FreeBSD (or any other unix-​like OS which can run pcsc)
  • I have a card reader which does not sup­port ex­ten­ded AP­DUs
  • I want to make sure what I write in the HOW­TOs is also suit­able for the use with Win­dows /​ PuTTY
  • it seems Win­dows needs a cer­ti­fic­ate and not only a key when us­ing the Win­dows CAPI (us­ing the vendor sup­plied card reader driver) in PuTTY-​CSC (works at work with a USB token)
  • the pcsc pkcs11 Win­dows DLL is not suit­able yet for use on Win­dows 8 64bit
  • I con­tac­ted the card reader vendor if the card reader or the driver is the prob­lem re­gard­ing the ex­ten­ded AP­DUs
  • I found prob­lems in gpg4win /​ pcsc on Win­dows 8
  • I have send some money to the de­velopers of gpg4win to sup­port their work (if you use gnupg on Win­dows, try to send a few units of money to them, the work stag­nated as they need to spend their time for paid work)

So either I need a new card reader, or have to wait for an up­date of the linux driver of the vendor… which prob­ably means it may be a lot faster to buy a new card reader. When look­ing for one with at least a PIN pad, I either do not find any­thing which is lis­ted as sup­por­ted by pcsc on the vendor pages (it is in­cred­ible how hard it is to nav­ig­ate the web­sites of some com­pan­ies… a lot of buzzwords but no way to get to the real products), or they only list up­dated mod­els where I do not know if they will work.

When I have some­thing which works with FreeBSD and Win­dows, I will pub­lish all the HOW­TOs here at once.

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