News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

MicroSD Smart Card adds security to Linux devices

Oct 5, 2007 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

German mobile security specialist IICS has announced what it claims is the world's first Smart Card that fits into a microSD slot. Supporting Linux-based mobile and embedded devices, the “Certgate” incorporates 2048-bit RSA encryption and 512 MB or 1 GB of user-accessible memory, the company says.

(Click here for a larger view of the Certgate Smart Card)

Besides fitting directly into microSD slots, the Certgate can be used in standard SD/MMC slots via commonly available adapters, and is also compatible with card readers attached to devices via USB, IICS says. The card provides security via two-factor authentication and supports Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

IICS notes that because “the Certgate card is easily plugged in and out of devices … [it] can be carried along so one person can always authenticate, sign, and encrypt based on a universal set of keys only stored inside the card.” Private keys stored on the smart card never have to leave it and thus cannot be intercepted, the company adds.

Touted Certgate features and specifications include:

  • JavaCard 2.2.1 (JavaCard 2.3 planned) and Global Platform 2.1.1 compliant
  • On-card secure random number generator — FIPS PUB 140-2 and BSI AIS 31 compliant
  • On-card secure signature generation with private key (RSA, PKCS#1.5 padding)
  • On-card secure public key encryption / private key decryption (RSA, no padding)
  • RSA 2048-bit on-card security algorithms
  • Protected private key store
  • 512 MB or 1 GB of on-card flash memory

Supported OSes are said to include Linux, Symbian, and Windows XP.

The Certgate card appears to be available now. Pricing was not disclosed.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.