The HID iCLASS and MIFARE cards have embedded information inside to activate a door so that the cardholder is able to access the area to complete authorized tasks. The cards are considered contactless smart cards.
The basic process of authorization is almost identical to the process in our How an HID card works blog post. The card is read by the appropriate scanner or reader. The reader transfers the internal binary code to the access controller which interprets the card information in accordance with it’s programming and the database of cardholder information. The controller reviews the length of the data string and the format of the information prior to proceeding further in the sequence. If the format and data string pass, the card is analyzed for facility and site codes. Card numbers are reviewed for access authorization.
In addition to the above processes, an iCLASS and MIFARE card will go through an additional security step. These cards will compare security keys found in both the card and the reader. This process is called mutual authentication. This process happens prior to the forwarding of information from the card reader to the access controller. If the security keys match, the reader activates the process of forwarding the information. If they keys do not match, the reader does not forward the information to the controller as the card is not able to be activated.
For more information about proximity cards or smart card badge holders, contact our id card experts toll free at 888-485-4696.