Smartcard device support?

Louis A. Mamakos louie at TransSys.COM
Fri Sep 24 08:50:35 PDT 2004

> Hi,
> I'm wondering if it isn't time to roll out smart card use a bit more
> aggressively. The question is: are any smart card devices useable
> with FreeBSD? Let's say for enabling IPsec associations with racoon
> (X509 cert on smartcard instead of a file on disk.) Only if smartcard
> is in the box will the IPsec connection work. Of course my constraint
> is cost of hardware. So is there any cheap stuff around?

You should take a look at the Dallas Semiconductor Java iButton,
which is a small Java smartcard like device in a package about the
size of a button-battery.  There's also an inexpensive reader
dongle you can attach to a serial port to talk with it.

The Java iButton can do RSA public key processing; in fact, with
a suitably written application (in Java, of course), you can have
the device generate a public/private keypair, hand you back the
public key, and never expose the private key inside the tamper
resistant device.  Very cool.

See for information.  See also
/usr/ports/comms/mlan3 for some low-level code used to talk
to these types of "one-wire" devices.


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