Originally Posted by stevea
What does that mean - about DoD smart cards ?
I suspect you are not aware of how that protocol works. The card isn't "read" despite the terminology. The ICC device(card) has processing capability and it doesn't divulge it's content any more than you bank does when is returns a public half key.
The design of the interface is meant so that someone can listen to every bit of the interface traffic and still it won't allow an exploit.
Actually, your pin is read via login/initialization of the card. And
that can be sniffed (did it myself during evaluation). After that
the entire session can be sniffed.
And that gives access to the certs generated/signed. The easiest
way is to put pcscd into debug mode, or replace it with one that
has debug turned on.
In my opinion, none of the existing smart cards are any better
than a password. The ONE advantage is that the card can't be
sniffed if it isn't plugged in...
A few one-time password cards are not too bad, these have external
pin pads such that the pin cannot be seen by the computer
(until you use them in front of a webcam) - CryptoCard is one,
another is SecurID (the more expensive ones).
Of course, from the military point of view, both are flawed - they
are made in China (you have to dismantle the CryptoCard to see
the "made in china" tag on the circuit board, The SecurID is
marked on the outside).
The DoD smart cards, last I heard, were made in VietNam,
shipped to Belgium for embedding in plastic, then shipped to
the US for sales.
It has been a couple of years since I had first hand information
on these though.