How safe is the military's new "Common Access Card" or "Smart Card" ID system?

The new military ID cards are ‘Smart Cards’ as you may have seen. They have a little chip and it contains all your information. Certainly enough to account for identity theft…

I have an ActivCard reader on my desk and after I type in my pin number I can access all the information on the card. So if I lose this thing, and someone finds it how hard would it be for them to get the data off of it? :dubious:

This is right out of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In the last book of the series, “Mostly Harmless,” he mentioned Ident-I-Eeze cards, which high ranking executives carried because they could not be bothered with remembering all of their passwords which they needed to get along in their busy lives. I am going out on a limb here, but I imagine that the military’s smart ID cards are just as effective as the ones that Douglas Adams mentioned. IE - If the bad guys get your card, then they can do anything they want with your accounts and/or securities until you get a new card issued to you.

Depends on how long your PIN is, eh?

And also how easy it is to get a reader.

the pin is six digits, not terribly long i suppose. i’ve already been reissued my card once after I lost it on a city bus.

not a comforting thought.

SmackFu the readers are really friggin easy to get… I have seen the same style of smart cards at LAUNDRY MATS! no joke…

The readers we have are made by ActivCard (

I should add that the pin is not always the same length as you can set it to whatever you want so that does add some variation…

I’m curious as to the encryption that’s used…I hope its tuf =)

Smart card readers? My motherboard comes with built in support. They can’t be TOO hard to get.