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pkcs15


       The  PKCS #15 standard is available from http://www.rsase­
       curity.com/rsalabs/pkcs.  This document does  not  try  to
       cover  PKCS  #15  in detail; it just tries to give readers
       not familiar with the standard a brief overview.

       PKCS #15 defines a standard how to  store  keys,  certifi­
       cates  and possibly other data on a smart card, and how to
       describe certain meta information (such as  what  PIN  the
       user needs to present before he's allowed to use a certain
       private key).

       A PKCS #15 compliant smart card can contain  one  or  more
       applications.  There  is  one ``meta directory'' that con­
       tains a list of all applications. On cards that support an
       ISO  7816 compatible file system, each application usually
       resides in a directory of its own.

       Within each application  directory,  PKCS  #15  defines  a
       structure of meta files (also called Directory Files) that
       contain information on objects stored  on  the  card.  For
       instance,  there is a private key directory file (or PrKDF
       for short) that contains a list of private keys stored  on
       the  card.  Likewise,  there's a public key directory file
       (PuKDF) and a certificate directory file (CDF).

       One fairly important PKCS #15 directory file is the  AODF,
       or  authorization  object  directory file, which describes
       the PINs held by the card. Note the AODF does not  contain
       the PINs themselves; this is something that is highly card
       specific. What the AODF does contain however is a descrip­
       tive  label  for  each  PIN,  and  additional  information
       required to authenticate against this PIN (sorry  if  this
       is  very  vague, but unless you really want to know, we'll
       better leave it at that, for the sake of your and my  san­
       ity :-).

       Each  object  stored  in  a  PKCS  #15 structure has an ID
       assigned to it, so that related objects can reference  one
       another.  For instance, if a private key is protected by a
       PIN, the PrKDF entry for this key will contain an  Authen­
       tication  ID  field that points to the AODF entry for this
       PIN.

       Similarly, if the card contains a certificate  correspond­
       ing  to  a  private key stored on this card, the CDF entry
       for the certificate will have the same  ID  as  the  PrKDF
       entry  for the private key. The same is true of public key
       objects.


BUGS

       This manual page is a little terse.

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