Tokyo–Athena Smartcard Solutions announced today that it has started delivery of its ASECard Crypto for ILM smart card for a 10,000 user customer, following successfully winning an open tender for the project earlier this year. The project calls for deployment of approximately 10,000 Microsoft Windows Minidriver-supported 72Kbyte smart cards with support for logical access control to a Windows Server 2003 network and managed by a Microsoft Identity Lifecycle Manager 2007 card and certificate life-cycle management system and providing physical access to facilities through a contactless smart card interface. Minidrivers are the new form of “device drivers” for smart cards as implemented in the Windows Smart Card Framework. Athena was one of the first smart card vendors to receive the Working with Vista Logo for its smart card Minidriver earlier this year and is leading the industry with solutions that include Smart Card and Fingerprint Match-on-Card biometric authentication.

The ASECard Crypto for ILM smart card provides secure two-factor authentication as well as full cryptographic capabilities for PKI, providing RSA and Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) support in the Windows Vista and XP environment. The current customer win includes supply of over 10,000 contact/contactless smart cards, middleware and smart card readers.

“Winning the project and supplying the Athena ASECard Crypto for ILM smart cards and smart card readers to our first major Microsoft ILM enterprise customer, proves again Athena’s ability to answer the needs of the most demanding large scale smart card deployments in the government and corporate arena. Athena provides an open platform that integrates seamlessly with any customer selected card and certificate management infrastructure including the Athena CMS card management system and now also with Microsoft ILM. Athena’s feature rich smart card middleware which is the first to transparently support MiniDriver, CSP, and PKCS#11 applications. Coupled with our performance and security leading smart cards provides our customers with the state-of-the-art solution that they are looking for. As smart cards are becoming a requirement for any security conscious organization and with Athena’s innovative solutions it is becoming more affordable and easy to deploy strong authentication in the enterprise environment” said Jochi Fuchs, vice president, business development, Athena. “Athena is constantly innovating in its approach to easing deployment of large scale smart card projects and the feedback we are getting from the market proves that our close interaction and support of our customers is paying off with cost effective smart card products allowing us to answer even the most demanding customer needs”

Hundreds of thousands of users worldwide utilize Athena smart cards for logical and physical security. Enterprises that deploy Microsoft Windows Server 2003 based computer networks looking for a single smart card based employee/customer/partner badge represent the fastest growing market for Athena’s Unified Badge smart cards and tokens. These products allow for both logical access to computer networks and physical access to facilities and services. Athena’s solutions allow for seamless integration of smart card based authentication solutions, with optional biometrics support, in large computer networks and government identity card deployments, regardless which card management or PKI infrastructure is deployed.


In Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced an entirely new layered architecture for supporting smart cards: the Windows Smart Card Framework. This new architecture is designed to simplify deployment, bring consistency to smart card interface implementations, and make it simpler to access end user smart card management features in the platform such as changing the user personal identification number (PIN) and secure unblocking of locked cards.

Windows Vista also introduces Crypto API Next Generation (CNG). CNG provides a much more flexible and robust cryptographic environment in Windows. For the first time, support for Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) is included with Windows. The Athena ASEKey Crypto Minidriver provides full support for both RSA and ECC under Windows Smart Card Framework. Athena is one of a handful of smart card technology leaders who currently support Microsoft’s new smart card architecture.
Microsoft Identity Lifecycle Manager 2007 simplifies managing the life cycle of a user’s digital identity by providing identity synchronization, certificate management, and user provisioning from a single solution.

About Athena

Athena Smartcard Solutions, one of the industry’s fastest growing vendors, is a leading provider of smart cards, tokens, smart card readers and smart card management systems–protecting computer networks–and an innovative supplier of cards and operating systems for banking and GSM. Athena’s offices in the US, UK, EMEA, and Asia serve customers worldwide including some of the world’s leading banks, manufactures, GSM operators and Government organizations.

Athena’s products include contact and dual interface open platform and file system based cryptographic smart cards for Windows Authentication, PIV, CNS/CIE, JICSAP, GSM, and EMV. The Athena ASEDrive line of smart card readers includes high performance USB desktop, internal, keyboard and biometric smart card readers. Athena’s cryptographic middleware solutions including the ASECard Crypto Toolkit with support for all major operating systems, and through the Athena CMS, our customers enjoy smart card life-cycle management solutions for contact and contactless cards.

©2007 Athena Smartcard Solutions. All rights reserved. ASEPCOS, ASECard Crypto and the Athena logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Athena Smartcard Solutions. All other product and brand names mentioned in this document are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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