GnuPG and Smartcards?

Max Berger max.berger at
Thu Jan 10 10:34:02 CET 2002


prerequestite: I have not looked at the gpg code yet, so please don't kill
me for uninformedness.

One of the most interesting media is currently the smart-card. Since there
are actual laws about smart cards now and homebanking interfaces using it,
this is a very exciting field.

Itis definitely interesting to make secret keys even more secret by
putting them on a smart-card.

There are 2 kinds of smart-cards: Ones that just have a memory and ones
with a chip on it.  The later ones are the more interesting, But I don't
have acces to them, so this is a "wishlist" for the farther future.

regular memory smartcard can store between 2 and 16 kbts, making it
possible to store secring.gpg on there. (this leads to the same
(in)security as having the secret key on a disk, its just easier to carry

What I will do (unless it's already done somewhere) is patch gnupg so that
it will read/write its secred keyring from/to such a smartcard.

What I want to know now is:
- is anyone wokring on this / is this already done?
- Is such a thing possible using the plugins or would the main code have
to be manipulated?
- is anyone else interested in such a thing? should I submit upstream


Max Berger
ICQ: 44986764
e-mail: max.berger at

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