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JasCar Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Does anyone know of a CAC reader for the iPad?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPad
  • Mr.C UK Level 2 Level 2 (410 points)
    What is CAC ?
  • lllaass Level 10 Level 10 (162,650 points)
    I think CAC stands for Common Access Card. I had one when i worked for the Defense Department. It contains you photo a chip that stores information. It is used an an ordinary ID card and can be used as a special ID/Access card using the chip feature in the card. I had one connected to my computer at work and had to insert my card and enter my password in order to log into the computer. The card had to remain in the reader for computer access.

    Using a CAC with the iPad would seem to require an app and I do not see any in the App Store if it could be used at all since it is really not a supported USB device.
  • Mr.C UK Level 2 Level 2 (410 points)
    Ah ... OK. I have one of those access cards, or PID's as we call them, myself so that I can enter my password and log into the computers at work. The card has to remain in the reader in the keyboard for me to use it. As I work for a government department and have to deal with sensitive information it's a requirement.
  • young_98_98 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have looked into this extensively since I would love to ditch my laptop and go with the iPad. The CAC issue has kept me from moving over.

    Keep an eye on militarycac.com which is a great site for out of the box thinking related to CAC access. If anyone figures it out that site will probably post it first.

    I have heard rumor of apps being built which will use the camera connection kit usb connection, but nothing solid yet.
  • mjdanberry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This is a great topic that I attempted to get working on a classmate's iPad. I tried about 8 different model CAC readers and could not get any of them to read via the camera USB connection.

    young9898 is definately correct.

    CW3 Michael J. Danberry

    <Edited by Host>
  • lllaass Level 10 Level 10 (162,650 points)
    I would expect that you need an app to make the CAC reader work. I doubt that there would be a commercial app. However, I would think that one could be developed for Enterprise use. You might want to post in the Using the iPad in the Enterprise Forum.
  • mjdanberry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I provide FREE assistance to people with CAC problems. I do not get compensation, financial otherwise when I'm recommending people to visit my website to find answers to thier questions. Evidently, I was advertising when I gave the link to my Apple support page. I felt that posting a URL to a location that people could use to get their CAC working on their MAC was a good idea. I'm going to try once again to post the url to my Use your CAC on your MAC webpag. So, if it is stripped out again by the Apple Discussions forums moderators you know why. https://militarycac.com/apple.htm I guess I should put another disclaimer to make this really legal. I DO NOT charge people for the knowledge I place on my website.
  • Florida J Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Apple it is very important that you are RESPONSIVE to what Chief Danberry is communicating and are able to help facilitate a solution. If you can enable DOD common access card functionality through iPad you will sell "a ton" of these to DOD private users like myself and probably make significant in-roads with the DOD.
  • lllaass Level 10 Level 10 (162,650 points)
    Apple really does not monitor these forums. If you want to make a suggestion/report an iPad problem go here:
    http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipad.html

    Florida J wrote:
    Apple it is very important that you are RESPONSIVE to what Chief Danberry is communicating and are able to help facilitate a solution. If you can enable DOD common access card functionality through iPad you will sell "a ton" of these to DOD private users like myself and probably make significant in-roads with the DOD.
  • xmissile Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I seriously doubt that Apple would ever permit a third-party smart card reader into its MFi program, a prerequisite in order to connect via Bluetooth or the 30-pin connector (WiFi would never pass industry or gov't scrutiny).  For one, there are no publicly available interfaces in the Cocoa Touch framework to accommodate low-level reader I/O.  Two, since iPhads do not support drivers, there would have to be a standard protocol, like AirPrint, but for readers, and there is no such effort to my knowledge.  You have to imagine that a host of applications, esp. Mobile Safari, would want to interact with such a reader, so Apple would have to bake in transactional support and a heavy layer of security.

     

    A pure guess is that Apple is entertaining the notion of creating their own reader for a future iPhad.  Due to power and space issues, expect it to be contactless with a 2-3 cm range.  An external reader is possible, but may require supplemental power due to the 3V dock port limitation.  Most chips still require 5V but are trending toward 3V, and until this is something that Apple can bank on, don't expect it anytime soon.  These are just my opinions, so please take them with a grain of salt.

  • William Thursby Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    J -

     

    You can expect some iPad/iPhone CAC solutions this year.  There are some challenges but it is definitely doable.

     

    When you say CAC functionality through the iPad, what are your exact requirements?  A secure CAC enabled web browser for access to sites such as AKO or the Air Force portal?   A stand-alone secure mail app running on the iPhone? A programming interface for custom programs?

     

    Your real-world feedback would definitely be helpful.

     

    Thanks,

       Bill Thursby

  • david_bossier Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I would like to access Air Force Portal through a browser.  To do this I need to use my CAC to log in.  I could probably plug the reader into the camera interface USB port.  If I had access to the AF Portal I can access webmail for my official emails. 

  • leroylll Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Bill-

     

    This is the problem as I see it. This is both a hardware and a software issue, and not easily resolved.

    First- hardware: a common access card reader requires power to read the data on the card chip. All card readers require power from the USB port, and the iPad does not seem to push enough power out to make the reader work properly. Thus, a reader will have to be built with an internal power source, or rebuilt so that it requires less energy. The second option is more feasible for the end user, because adding internal power, or an external cable will make it too bulky for portability.

    Second- Software: For a CAC reader to work, the software must read the encrypted signature key off of the card and prompt for a password, thus unlocking the card and the Key. This key must then be made available to whatever web browser or application is being used that requires the key when prompted by the website. This would best be done in it's own app, where the app has a built in key reader and browser.

     

    As the government is and has been moving towards mobile devices, security is at an utmost importance. Apple needs to start thinking about this if they want to stay in the running. Apple developers are starting to push for more cloud based computing, but as we recently saw with the attacks on Sony's mainframe and several attacks on the U.S. government systems,there needs to be better security on the network. Thus far, there is next to no security on the iPad. ????

  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (77,860 points)

    "I provide FREE assistance to people with CAC problems. I do not get compensation, financial otherwise when I'm recommending people to visit my website to find answers to thier questions. Evidently, I was advertising when I gave the link to my Apple support page.

    Since you have link to donate to you on your page...

    From the Apple support forums Terms of Use.

    "No advertising. Do not use the Site to sell or market your products to others and do not post a URL unless it directly answers a user’s question. If any portion of your Submission, including any posted URL, results in any accrual of compensation or benefit to you, you must note this in your post by stating, “I may receive some form of compensation, financial or otherwise, from my recommendation or link.”

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