Resetting an OpenPGP smart card "bricks" it

Chris Boot bootc at
Tue Mar 11 11:44:05 CET 2014


I've reset two OpenPGP smart cards using the instructions at and
both have been rendered unusable. Both are OpenPGP V2 cards.

I notice the instructions at
reverse the last two APDUs (e6 then 44 rather than 44 then e6). I
believe that E6 is 'TERMINATE DF' and 44 is 'ACTIVATE FILE', so the 2009
instructions are probably correct while the 2013 ones are not.

Is there a way to recover cards that have had the erroneous procedure
run on them, please? I can't even get gpg-connect-agent to talk to the
cards now ("gpg: OpenPGP card not available: Not supported"), nor even
tools like opensc-explorer.

Please CC me as I'm not subscribed.


Chris Boot
bootc at

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