chip card interface device
The ISO-compliant term for a smart card terminal (CKT) is Chip Card Interface Device. Such a terminal, also known as a smartcard reader, forms the physical interface between the computer and the smartcard. The reader supplies the smart card with power and also receives the clock signal for the processor. At the same time, the reader is used to transfer all data that is read in or out.
The security classes of smart card terminals
The functionality of chip card readers is specified by the Central Credit Committee(ZKA) in security classes. There are security classes 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Class 1 devices are simple contacting units without their own processor. These readers merely establish a physical connection between the chip card and the personal computer( PC).
Communication is controlled by the computer. Readers of this class can be used, for example, for access control to the personal computer.
Class 2 readers have a numeric keypad and a dedicated processor that handles communication with the smart card. When the personal identification number( PIN) is entered, the processor disconnects from the computer, making it impossible to spy out the PIN number. The data is transferred from the computer directly to the smart card and is thus protected from unauthorized access, as well as from viruses
Class 3 devices have a numeric or alphanumeric keypad controlled from the reader. Manipulation via the computer is impossible, as is the viewing of entries. Chip card terminals in this class can be used for sensitive inputs such as digital signatures or for Home Banking Computer Interface( HBCI) over the Internet.
Class 4 readers are equivalent to those in Class 3 and also have a security module with RSA encryption and can execute programs directly in the reader. These readers can receive approval from the Central Credit Committee (ZKA) of the German banking industry and thus meet the security requirements of the ZKA. In addition to chip card terminals for contact chip cards, there are also RFID readers for contactless chip cards.