Beginner's smartcard questions

Sven Radde sven_radde at
Wed Sep 6 19:11:36 CEST 2006


I intend to buy an OpenPGP card and I have some questions regarding its use unter WinXP, particularly in combination with my new (and yet untested) banking card.
Is there any difference in the required hardware to access both cards? In other words, will the card-readers sold at also support my banking-card (german HBCI) or, vice-versa, can I expect GnuPG to support the card-reader recommended by my bank ("cyber Jack" devices by ReinerSCT)?

Are there any caveats in general regarding the card-readers at under Windows? In particular, I stumbled over the "Supported by GnuPG *via PC/SC drivers*" in the description of the Omnikey CM4040 PCMCIA device). Sorry for insisting, but before spending actual money, I want to be sure it works.

One more question: When using a class-3 reader, what (if any) information does GnuPG display on it? I wonder how much added security I would get from a class-3 reader in comparison to one without display.
I understand that a class-2 reader will prevent sniffing of the PIN in case my PC is infected with a trojan. Having never been infected by malware (AFAIK ;-)), I might as well go for the aforementioned PCMCIA reader for convenience.

Thanks for your insights,
  Sven Radde

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