Are there any defacto resources for understanding the basics of smart cards?

My problem is that I don't know what I don't know about the technology.

Any good primers?

  • Are you looking more for hardware or software information? I've managed an entire career (so far) knowing alot about provisioning PKI for Smart Cards, while knowing less than 10 bullet points about the hardware side... Commented May 6, 2011 at 19:17
  • @bethlaksmi hmm. Both preferably, but software at a minimum.
    – Steve
    Commented May 6, 2011 at 19:37
  • If you're looking for the real basics, you can always check out Wikipedia
    – AviD
    Commented May 7, 2011 at 22:03

3 Answers 3


If you don't want to read straight from standards, and you are looking something in book form, this is a nice primer, (fairly) entry level into smart card security: http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Cards-Tokens-Security-Applications/dp/1441944265 . It's written by two university professors and is the course book on a msc course about smart cards. For a more comprehensive book on the subject (but maybe a bit beyond what you need) I suggest this one: http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Card-Handbook-Wolfgang-Rankl/dp/0470743670


Depending on what you are looking for there is a lot of technologies covering the smart card topic. Some of them coming to my mind:

  • @Thomas Great links, but I think the books linked to by @john will be easier to read. :)
    – Steve
    Commented May 8, 2011 at 13:58
  • @SteveS: hey, I am not the author of this answer ! Credits go to @Jcs. I just fixed a couple of typographic errors. Commented May 8, 2011 at 15:39

OpenSC project has also lots of information and further pointers. And you're most welcome to ask for help on the mailing list as well.



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