Information Security Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for information security professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is the purpose of "Variant" LMKs?

The JPOS project ( gives this description:

To make things more secure HSM's use variants. A variant is a hex value for each type of key.

Q1) How do variants make things more secure?

Q2) Is increased security the only reason why variant's are used? I thought another reasons for Variants was to increase the number of keys without requiring more memory storage in the HSM?

share|improve this question

In some HSMs certain kinds of keys have certain commands possible on them, for example you would not be able to use a PIN key to decrypt the value.

I'm not sure if this relates to the jPOS use case:

I'd like to know too

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.