Athena's IDProtect smart card approved by U.S. government

Cupertino, CA (PRWEB) November 17, 2008 -- Athena Smartcard Solutions, a leading developer of smart cards for Digital ID, announced today that the Athena IDProtect Duo PIV, contact-contactless smart card was approved by US Government GSA for deployment in HSPD-12 programs. The Athena IDProtect Duo PIV was certified for FIPS 140-2 and FIPS 201 earlier this year and the GSA approval announced follows the previous approval by the GSA of the use in HSPD-12 deployments of the Athena IDProtect PIV Middleware.

HSPD-12 mandates US Government agencies to issue secure credentials to all government employees. According to a recent report by the White House Office of Management and Budget, over 1.5 million PIV cards have been issued to date out of a total of over 5.5 million to be issued. The GSA APL (Approved Product List) governs which products and services may be purchased by government agencies.

The Athena IDProtect Duo PIV (Personal Identity Verification) card incorporates the latest FIPS 201 requirements and is listed on the U.S. General Services Administration Approved Product List (GSA APL). Products listed on the GSA APL may be purchased by government agencies. The Athena PIV supports Java Card 2.2.2 specifications and can carry 72KB of data including certificates and biometric data supporting both logical and physical access applications.

The Athena PIV card, developed and supported by Athena's California development center, utilizes Atmel's AT90SC12872RCFT dual interface secure microcontroller which is Common Criteria EAL5+ certified. The PIV card is produced by CPI, a leading US based plastic card manufacturer making it an ideal platform for US Government card credentials.

Bob Clarke, CPI's Vice President of Sales, says, "As a U.S. Company, we wanted to be involved in the PIV project, and teaming with Athena and Atmel was key for this goal. We worked for three years to meet all FIPS 201 requirements and have done so in our Colorado plant. CPI offers the largest production capacity in North America in a certified, secure plant. We look forward to working with integrators to offer the best security features and meet their needs."

As governments world-wide are starting to issue smart card based credentials to citizens and employees Athena is constantly adding new security certified products to its card portfolio. The Athena PIV card is joining our previously announced ASEPCOS CNS/CIE Digital Signature and ID card certified to Common Criteria and IDProtect Java Card certified to FIPS 140-2 Level 3.