Any future for the Crypto Stick?

Andreas Schwier (ML) at
Mon Dec 2 20:37:07 CET 2013

Wait a second - you can not simply hide a backdoor in a Common Criteria
evaluated operating system. There are too many entities that would need
to be involved in the process: The manufacturer, the evaluator, the
certification body and possibly a national regulator (Here for example
NXP, TÜV-IT, BSI and Bundesnetzagentur).

And if there were a backdoor, then the manufacturer could be held liable
if the backdoor was exploited. They wouldn't risk their business just to
comply with a fairly small US smart card market requirement.

Btw. we are working on a solution to add OpenPGP support for our
SmartCard-HSM, which is running on a JCOP platform. It's available as
card, USB-Stick or MicroSD card.


Am 02.12.2013 19:33, schrieb Peter Lebbing:
> On 02/12/13 15:24, NdK wrote:
>> Who can you really trust? If you don't trust NXP, then you can't use any
>> of their JCOP chips... What would stop 'em from adding an undocumented
>> command to the card manager that dumps the whole memory?
> Exactly the point I was going to make when I read your mail up to this point.
> And don't forget that the draconian US laws aren't just for multinationals whose
> main offices are in the US... it's also for multinationals with any office in
> the US. I wouldn't count on it that NXP thought "we'd rather lose the US market
> than backdoor our smartcards".
> Since smartcards are primarily used for security purposes, I wouldn't be
> surprised if it responded specially to a message signed by the NSA (or encrypted
> with a symmetric cipher with a specific key known to the NSA).
>> Only BasicCard supports longer keys, but I'm not using Basic
>> since Commodore-64 era :)
> I agree with you, but programs on BasicCards are generally rather simple since
> they just define the contents for the ISO 7816 APDU's and files, and everything
> else, including the file system on the card, is part of the interpreter and OS
> on the card. And BASIC has two advantages: it's easy to learn, and it's easy to
> compile to bytecode (that is, writing a compiler is easy).
> Obviously, the design of the language from an academic standpoint is really bad
> by todays standards; we learned a lot since BASIC was designed. But that's not
> so important for the small applet-like programs that only work with the contents
> of ISO 7816 APDU's and files.
> Peter.


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