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.

Send to Kin­dle