DoD to set up labs to test contactless smart cards

Published 20 December 2005

DoD is setting up testing procedures for smart cards and readers; vendors selling smart cards to DoD will have products tested

The Defense Department is setting up a lab to test contactless smart cards and readers for industry standard compliance and interoperability. Mike Butler, DOD’s chief of smart-card programs for the Common Access Card Office, said that the labs would be ready by spring and will use a testing software from San Diego-based Cubic Corp. The labs will test for the International Standards Organization 14443 standard. If a vendor wanted to sell contactless smart cards and readers to DoD, the lab must approve their products.

Butler said DOD would award a contract for 20,000 dual-interface 64K smart cards which meet Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2, level 2 certification. DoD will also evaluate card stock with 64K FIPS 140-2, level 2 certified Java cards.

During a recent panel discussion on Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 Butler said: “We want competition from vendors to supply us smart cards, but we only want the best four …. We only have $100,000 to integrate each card into our system so we want cards that meet the standard and we only want the best ones.”

-read more in Jason Miller’s Washington Technology report