CAC on a MAC: setting up a DOD Common Access Card reader on the Macintosh OS X operating system

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Hopfner, Phil (2006)
  • Publisher: Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
  • Subject: Information science. | Data protection. | United States. Department of Defense. | Computer programs.

The Naval Postgraduate School, along with many other Department of Defense (DOD) organizations, utilizes the ActivCard USB Common Access Card (CAC) readers. The CAC readers in conjunction with the user's Smart Card enables access to DOD PKI-enabled websites and allows the user to send signed and encrypted email utilizing the DOD Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Microsoft Windows systems utilize the ActivCard Gold middleware software to enable CAC reader functionality. This software package is well integrated and documented in the Microsoft Windows environment. Starting with Macintosh OS X 10.4.x, there was no need to install any middleware software as all of the support for the US Federal Smart Cards is built in. This document details how to update the ActivCard readers to make them fully compliant with OS X 10.4.x and then details the steps necessary to setup the system in order to use the CAC readers under the Macintosh OS X 10.4.x operating system.
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