Category Archives: smart card

New GlobalTester Release 3.1

GlobalTester is an Open Source tool to test (not only) smart cards. It’s developed with Eclipse. You can use the tool as an Eclipse plugin or standalone as Eclipse RCP. With the new release GlobalTester is not reduced to chip cards anymore. From now on you can test various protocols e.g. in context of Smart Home or IoT.

Here is a subset of the benefits of the new version:

  • Supports XML scheme according to BSI TR-03105 for test cases
  • Sample Configuration of  test objects allows switching between test objects and persistence of test information
  • Easy sharing with test houses and certification authorities
  • New, intuitive user interface, and handling
  • Extensive cheat sheets and new user guidance
  • Test Campaign allows easy reproduction of a test run and persistence of test results

The following video clip gives a first impression of the new user interface and the functionality (Video concept and recording by Anke Larkworthy).

If you are interested in the source code: we host the free available basic version of GlobalTester on the versioning system GitHub. Please feel free to download the code and to join the community. You are always welcome 🙂



Flattr this!

Chip Authentication Version 3 (CAv3)

This post describes a new version 3 of well-known protocol Chip Authentication, which is used in context of eID to authenticate the chip and to establish a strong secure channel between chip and terminal.

In context of the European eIDAS regulation, the German BSI and the French ANSSI have specified in TR-03110 a new version 3 of protocol Chip Authentication (CAv3). It bases on ephemeral-static Diffie-Hellman key agreement, that provides both secure communication and also unilateral authentication of the chip. This new protocol is an alternative to Chip Authentication Version 2 and Restricted Identification (RI) providing additional features. CAv3 provides the following benefits (see TR-03110 part 2):

  • message-deniable strong explicit authentication of the eIDAS token and of the provided sector-specific identifiers towards the terminal,
  • pseudonymity of the eIDAS token without the need of using the same keys on several chips,
  • possibility of whitelisting eIDAS token (even in case of a compromised group key),
  • implicit authentication of stored data by performing Secure Messaging using new session keys derived during CAv3.

Before CAv3 is started the well-known protocol Terminal Authentication Version 2 (TAv2) must performed because the terminal’s ephemeral key pair generated during TAv2 is used during CAv3. It is also recommend that Passive Authentication is performed before CAv3 to assure the authenticity of chip’s public key.

Following table describes the command during CAv3 respective PSA (Source ISO/IEC 19286):

Command description of Chip Authentication V3 (CAv3) protocol (Source ISO/IEC 19286)

Command description of CAv3 protocol (Source ISO/IEC 19286)

The protocol CAv3 consists of the following two steps (where terminal and eIDAS token are involved):

  1. Perform Key Agreement (based on Anonymous Diffie Hellman (ADH))
    • Kee Agreement is performed in this step of the protocol:
      • MSE:SET AT with CA-OID and reference to private key
      • GENERAL AUTHENTICATE with dynamic authentication data (ephemeral public key)
  2. Perform Pseudonymous Signature Authentication (PSA)
    • Pseudonymous Signature is computed in this step of the protocol:
      • MSE:SET AT with PSA-OID and reference to private key
      • GENERAL AUTHENTICATE with dynamic authentication data (public key for domain-specific identifier)

Additionally, the received sector-specific identifier can be checked if it is black-listed (or white-listed).

On this way the new protocol CAv3 can be used in addition to sign data under a chip and sector specific pseudonym as an alternative to Restricted Identification.


Flattr this!

Java Sample Code to access Smart Card

This Java sample code describes the Java Smart Card I/O API used to get access to a common smart card. It demonstrates the communication with smart cards using APDUs specified in ISO/IEC 7816-4. It thereby allows Java applications to interact with applications running on the smart card.

The Application Programming Interface (API) for the Java Card technology defines the communication protocol conventions by which an application accesses the Java Card Runtime Environment and native services. To assure interoperability, the Java Card API is compatible with formal international standards, such as ISO/IEC 7816, and industry-specific standards, such as EMVCo’s EMV standards for payment, and ESI/3GPP standards for UICC/SIM cards.

In this Java sample code the command GET CHALLENGE is used to demonstrate a simple command sent to smart card. At the beginning of the communication protocol all registered card readers (terminals) are listed and the first one is selected to get connected with the smart card. Once the connection is established the command GET CHALLENGE is sent to the card and a random sequence of 8 bytes is returned as response.

And here is the code snippet of this sample:

// Show the list of all available card readers:
TerminalFactory factory = TerminalFactory.getDefault();
List<CardTerminal> terminals = factory.terminals().list();
System.out.println("Reader: " + terminals);
// Use the first card reader:
CardTerminal terminal = terminals.get(0);
// Establish a connection with the card:
Card card = terminal.connect("*");
System.out.println("Card: " + card);
CardChannel channel = card.getBasicChannel();
ResponseAPDU r = channel.transmit(new CommandAPDU(0x00, 0x84, 0x00, 0x00, 0x08));
String hex = DatatypeConverter.printHexBinary(r.getBytes());
System.out.println("Response: " + hex);
// disconnect card:

If you want to use this sample in your IDE, e.g. Eclipse, keep in mind that you must access the Java Card API in a manually way. In Eclipse you can do this in project properties. Add the following access rule to the java build path: javax/smartcardio/** This allows you do access additional methods for smart cards in Java. You can find this adjustment in the following screenshot (Eclipse):


Eclipse – Project properties to access Java Card API for Java code sample



Flattr this!

PersoSim – an open source eID simulator

The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) started a project for an open source eID simulator. The simulator allows a wide range of personalisation, is more flexible than a real card and is free to use.

There is a rising need of test cards for developers of eID clients and companies which want to offer services by using the eID functions of the German ID card (nPA, elektronischer Personalausweis). Today it is difficult to get test cards for developers who want to evaluate the eID functions in their systems. Also for improvements and development of new protocols – but also for tests of established protocols – an open implementation of eID functions would be helpful. Therefore the German BSI started a project with HJP Consulting for an implementation of an open source eID simulator which provides all logical functions of the German ID card.

The website of the project is (site is in German only) and the first version of the simulator is ready for download there. There is also a virtual driver available, that simulates a card reader. On this way you can simulate card and reader for testing purposes.

Update 1: We have released an article in The VAULT (magazine of Silicon Trust) concerning PersoSim in English Language. You can find the article here for free in The VAULT #14.

Update 2: We have released the source code of the simulator and using github as repository. You can find all relevant information on the PersoSim project website. Please feel free to fork the code and extend the project with new features.

Flattr this!

Standards of Smart Cards in ISO Layer Model

Usually smart card applications base on international standards and norms. Also protocols mentioned here in this blog in context of ePassports, like Supplemental Access Control (SAC) or Password Authenticated Connection Establishment (PACE) are based on international ISO standards. The following figure shows the relevant ISO standards for contacted smart cards on the one side and contactless smart cards on the other side:

Smart Cards in context of ISO/OSI Layer Model

Smart Cards in context of ISO/OSI Layer Model

The main standard for contacted smart cards is ISO 7816, the main standard for contactless smart cards is ISO 14443. On application level both types of smart cards are using ISO 7816,  where all commands (Application Protocol Data Unit, APDU) and files systems are described. Protocols are composed by these commands and using access rights and file systems specified in this standard. The standard ISO 7816-4 (Integrated circuit cards – Part 4: Organization, security and commands for interchange) is important for nearly all smart card applications. Using this standard enable applications to interoperate in various open environments, e.g. a credit card can be read by different terminals all over the world because credit card and terminal are using the same standard.

ISO 14443 specifies contactless mechanisms of smart cards. Smart cards may be type A or type B, both of them communicate via radio at 13.56 MHz. The main differences between these two types concern modulation methods, coding schemes (ISO 14443-2) and protocol initialization procedures (ISO 14443-3). Both types are using the same transmission protocol, described in ISO 14443-4. The transmission protocol specifies mechanisms like data block exchange and waiting time extension. In the contactless world a reader is called proximity coupling device (PCD) and the card itself is
called proximity integrated circuit card (PICC).



Flattr this!

Author: .