I was recentely asked in the comments on some details on tamper-proofing of a smartcard in question. The term "FIPS-201" was used to specify what kind of details was needed.

I understand that FIPS 140-2 defines four levels of hardware (/software) security for smartcards / software / HSMs for these devices to protect, use and manage keys.

When "asked" for FIPS-201, Wikipedia says that this is a set of requirements for personal identity validation (PIV). So a piece of soft-/ hardware can either be FIPS-201 compliant or not.

But none of the pages stated what those requirements actually are, hence my question:

What are the central requirements for PIV as per FIPS-201?

1 Answer 1


Here is a link to the FIPS 201 document on NIST's website.

This is pulled from the linked document and might directly answer your question:

The PIV Card shall contain security features that aid in reducing counterfeiting, are resistant to tampering, and provide visual evidence of tampering attempts. At a minimum, a PIV Card shall incorporate one such security feature. Examples of these security features include the following: • optical varying structures; • optical varying inks; • laser etching and engraving; • holograms; • holographic images; and • watermarks.


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