Alexander Leidinger

Just another weblog

Mar
16

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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Jan
15

OpenPGP crypto cards ordered

I wrote in a pre­vi­ous blog post that I want to switch to crypto cards for use with ssh and GnuPG. After some research I set­tled on the OpenPGP cryto cards. I ordered them from ker­nel­con­cepts. As soon as they arrive (and I have some free time), I will start to use them and write down how to work with them with FreeBSD.

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Nov
25

Which crypto card to use with FreeBSD (ssh/gpg)

The recent secu­rity inci­dent trig­gered a dis­cus­sion how to secure ssh/gpg keys.

One way I want to focus on here (because it is the way I want to use at home), is to store the keys on a crypto card. I did some research for suit­able crypto cards and found one which is called Feit­ian PKI Smart­card, and one which is called OpenPGP card. The OpenPGP card also exists in a USB ver­sion (basi­cally a small ver­sion of the card is already inte­grated into a small USB card reader).

The Feit­ian card is reported to be able to han­dle RSA keys upto 2048 bits. They do not seem to han­dle DSA (or ECDSA) keys. The smart­card quick starter guide they have  (the Tun­ing smart­card file sys­tem part) tells how to change the para­me­ters of the card to store upto 9 keys on it.

The spec of the OpenPGP card tells that it sup­ports RSA keys upto 3072 bits, but there are reports that it is able to han­dle RSA keys upto 4096 bits (you need to have at least GPG 2.0.18 to han­dle that big keys on the crypto card). It looks to me like the card is not han­dle DSA (or ECDSA) cards. There are only slots for upto 3 keys on it.

If I go this way, I would also need a card reader. It seems a class 3 one (hard­ware PIN pad and dis­play) would be the most “future-proof” way to go ahead. I found a Reiner SCT cyber­Jack sec­oder card reader, which is believed to be sup­ported by OpenSC and seems to be a good bal­ance between cost and fea­tures of the Reiner SCT card readers.

If any­one read­ing this can sug­gest a bet­ter crypto card (keys upto 4096 bits, more than 3 slots, and/or DSA/ECDSA  sup­port), or a bet­ter card reader, or has any prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ence with any of those com­po­nents on FreeBSD, please add a comment.

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Nov
25

Hats off to the peo­ple han­dling the recent secu­rity incident

I pull my hat to the peo­ple han­dling the recent secu­rity inci­dent on the FreeBSD infra­struc­ture.

Guys:

  • Thanks a lot for the count­less hours you invested to find and close the ini­tial attack vector.
  • Thanks a lot for the count­less hours you invested to get the machines back to a well known state.
  • Thanks a lot for the count­less hours you invested to ver­ify the source repository.
  • Thanks a lot for the count­less hours you invested to get back to a trusted pack­age build­ing environment.
  • Thanks a lot for the count­less hours you invested to get the “remain­ing” infra­struc­ture (and every­thing else I for­got to men­tion) back into a good state.

Or in short: Thanks a lot for the count­less hours you invested to get us from “we’re busted” to “we’re back”.

And last but not least, thanks for the deci­sion to be bet­ter safe than sorry regard­ing our user­base (while it is the only way to han­dle some­thing like this in a OSS project, I unfor­tu­nately think it has to be men­tioned instead of tak­ing it as an obvi­ous decision).

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Oct
25

Dear script-kiddy com­ing in via 5.39.218.138

After 84 lock­outs from your IP address for your tries to guess the pass­word of just one account (not count­ing your attempts to login to the other accounts were you received just one lock­out) I changed the secu­rity set­tings to lock­out IP’s faster, and to lock them out longer.

P.S.: I use One-Time-Passwords.

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