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Secure identification based on Mifare cards

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Sigur can process all types of Mifare cards in a secure mode. These identifiers are protected from cloning and ensure a high level of security.

Why Mifare?

Unlike EM Marine cards, Mifare cards have both a non-secure ID number and a memory protected by a key. On the outside, Mifare cards look exactly like EM Marine or any other cards. They can also look like a key fob, wristband or patch.

Core functionality

Sigur is fully compatible with Mifare cards and readers:

  • any Mifare reader can be connected to Sigur controller via standard Wiegand protocol
  • the memory of Mifare Classic, DESFire and Plus cards is automatically initialized in Sigur software when a card is assigned to a cardholder. For convenience of card registration with the system, ACR1252 desktop USB reader can be used
  • initialization cards can be created for a number of readers, including Sigur MR1 and PROX13.

Secure mode

Bear in mind that many readers can only read the card number and cannot access the secure memory.

The readers that can read from the secure memory should be properly set up as generally they can only read card numbers by default.

To configure the reader, you will have to provide it with the memory access details, i.e. the directions such as where to read the ID data from in the memory or which key (password) to use. Generally, to configure the reader, a special configuration card has to be presented to the reader or the reader has to be connected via RS232 / RS485 interface.

How to set up secure identification

To set up secure identification, a certain configuration of card-reader interactions is required:

  • upon Mifare card initialization, the access rules for the cardholder and the access key to these data are being written to the secure area of the card memory
  • to configure the reader, you will have to provide it with the memory access details, i.e. directions such as where to read the ID data from in the memory or which key to use. For this purpose, only readers that can process secure Mifare card memory can be used
  • in Sigur interface, you can not only activate Mifare cards but also create configuration cards for certain models of readers

Mifare cards and their levels of security

Mifare is not a single type of cards, it is a whole range of identity credentials with various levels of security (cryptographic algorithms used to access the protected area of the card). The choice of the ID type depends fully on the level of security required in the system.

Mifare Classic cards have a basic protection level. If you need an extra level of protection, choose Mifare Plus. Sigur supports most of the identifiers used in physical access control systems: Mifare Classic, Mifare Plus, Mifare DESFire.

Mifare Classic
Mifare Classic cards are the most frequently used cards in physical access control systems. They provide a protection level sufficient for most of the customers. However, in theory they can be cloned due to rather weak cryptographic algorithms and a couple of other weaknesses.

Mifare Plus
For customers, who demand a higher level of security, we recommend to use Mifare Plus. These cards are AES-encrypted and they do not have any major weaknesses. It is highly unlikely that in near future someone would be able to clone these cards.

However, there is one thing to take into account: Plus cards can function in a Classic compatibility mode, though in this case they are subject to the major weaknesses inherent in the Classic cards.

Mifare DESFire
These cards provide the same level of protection as Mifare Plus cards but have extended capabilities that open up possibilities of their use in other applications not related to physical access control systems. They are more expensive than Mifare Classic and Plus cards.