Is PIV card support coming to the iPhone?

Summary:One question that looks for an answer at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), starting a week from Monday, is whether the iPhone 3.0 software update will support PIV card authentication and who will provide that support.

One question that looks for an answer at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), starting a week from Monday, is whether the iPhone 3.0 software update will support PIV card authentication and who will provide that support.

On Friday, Thursby Software announced ADmitMac for PIV, which lets Macs support the National Institute of Standards and Technology's "Personal Identity Verification" card standard that is required for all federal government employees and contractors when connecting to government networks.

ADmitMac for PIV (ADPIV) obtains Kerberos tickets using PIV certificates, makes these tickets available to “Kerberized” applications, locks the computer upon removal of a PIV card, and protects the computer from unauthorized use when it wakes from sleep.

This version enables E-mail user access to Exchange using Entourage  2004 or OWA without needing passwords.  ADPIV takes care of authentication to Exchange servers. Entourage 2008 users can authenticate using a PIV card.

In addition, I note that Centrify in Oct., released its DirectControl 4.2 for Mac OS X, which lets Macs play better with Active Directory Group Policy. It supports Smart Card login, including PIV, the company said. managers

So, support for PIV from several vendors is good news for Mac users in the government. But what about the iPhone, which is used by Windows and Mac users?

A couple of months ago, I was pinged by a CTO of a federal agency looking for PIV support with iPhones. He said his agency had spent more than half a year pitching upper management for the okay to use iPhones and finally, the approval had been received.

But what about a card reader? That's the problem, there is a PIV-savvy reader for the BlackBerry but not one for the iPhone.

At the same time, I remembered the Macworld Expo announcement of iEnigma by middleware vendor Charismathics, which turns an iPhone or iPod Touch into a a 2-factor authentication device. Still, that's not the same as a standard reader for the existing cards.

We can only hope that Apple or a third-party developer will make an announcement at WWDC and bring a smile to a growing market for Apple products. Say, do you have any news of this support?

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Hardware, Mobility

About

David Morgenstern has covered the Mac market and other technology segments for 20 years. In the recent past, he founded Ziff-Davis' Storage Supersite, served as news editor for Ziff Davis Internet and held several executive editorial positions at eWEEK. In the 1990s, David was editor of Ziff Davis' award-winning MacWEEK news publication a... Full Bio

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