DOD picks middleware for Common Access Cards

The Defense Department is adding smart-card middleware for Linux systems to its Common Access Card program, expanding capabilities beyond Microsoft Windows platforms for the first time.

The $9.3 million contract for Cactus software from Schlumberger Ltd. of New York was awarded through the Naval Inventory Control Point in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The contract is part of DOD's Enterprise Software Initiative.

The middleware will allow communication between smart cards and other devices and applications. Cactus works with both Windows and Linux operating systems.

The Common Access smart card is being issued to all DOD military and civilian personnel. The cards will serve as physical IDs, controlling access to facilities and systems, as well as providing encryption for secure e-mail.

Schlumberger also makes the smart cards and readers for the DOD program. The company recently shipped its one-millionth card to DOD.

The Army is using SchlumbergerSema Reflex 72, Reflex USB and Reflex 20 card readers.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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