Beginner's smartcard questions

Joerg Schmitz-Linneweber joerg at
Tue Sep 12 08:44:11 CEST 2006


Am Mittwoch, 6. September 2006 19:11 schrieb Sven Radde:
> Hi!
> 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, 
Probably not. :-(

> vice-versa, can I expect GnuPG to support 
> the card-reader recommended by my bank ("cyber Jack" devices by ReinerSCT)?
Sure not! Esp. the "CyberJack" is known to be problematic (at least) with 
OpenGPG cards...

> 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.
I think most of them will work under Win, You'll have to look for drivers for 
your special application...

> 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.
With GnuPG nothing. (But I think the difference between class 2 and 3 is not 
only the display but here in Germany the "clearance" to do "binay cashing" 
via e.g. GeldKarte and the like...)

> I understand that a 
> class-2 reader will prevent sniffing of the PIN in case my PC is infected
> with a trojan.
Not with GnuPG. With *some* HomeBanking applications, your PIN will never 
reach "the system" (Win) and thus will be save.

Salut, Jörg

gpg/pgp key # 0xd7fa4512
fingerprint 4e89 6967 9cb2 f548 a806  7e8b fcf4 2053 d7fa 4512
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