Category Applications & Software tools

How to read RFID/NFC passes with SpringCard PC/SC couplers

SpringCard contactless PC/SC couplers (NFC/RFID HF) can be used to read contactless passes carried by NFC smartphones.

In particular, the Prox'N'Roll HSP PC/SC and the PUCK configured as PC/SC have been certified :

  • by Apple for reading NFC passes stored in the Apple Wallet application ("Apple VAS" protocol, formerly branded as "PassKit"),
  • by Google for reading NFC passes stored in the Google Pay application ("Google VAS" protocol, still branded as "Smart Tap" or now "Google Wallet").

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SCardSniffer2 spies the exchanges between a PC/SC application and a smart card

5 years ago, SpringCard introduced SCardSniffer, a tool that spies the exchanges between Windows applications and the PC/SC subsystem. SCardSniffer works by introducing a hook over winscard.dll.

Although this method is still perfectly working in most cases, it comes with some technical complexity (1. the sniffer and the sniffed application must both run on the same subsystem, either Win32 or Win64, hence 2 versions of the sniffer and 2. the injection of the hook is likely to be disabled on security-enforced computers and 3. it may also triggers some antivirus/malware detection tools, which leads to an unnecessary stress).

SCardSniffer2 is a new tool that offers basically the same function, but with a much simpler architecture.

SCardSniffer2 installs a new virtual smart card reader and acts as a relay between this virtual reader and the real reader, where the real card is.

The application to be spied must be reconfigured to connect to the virtual reader (instead of the real reader); SCardSniffer2 is then able to record all the APDUs exhanged between the application and the card.

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Installing the SpringCore Tools on Windows, macOS and Linux

SpringCore is the umbrella name to the new generation of SpringCard devices (Puck, SpringPark, etc.) that share the same MCU platform and the same overall architecture.

To manage, configure and update these devices, SpringCard has developed SpringCard Companion, a complete and versatile hybrid solution that combines the ergonomics of a modern web application with the power of a gateway service running on Windows 10 (or later).

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Getting started with SpringCard Companion

SpringCard Companion is the new all-in-one solution to manage, configure and update the latest generation of SpringCard "SpringCore" devices (Puck, SpringPark, etc). SpringCard Companion is an hybrid application that combines a clean, efficient and always up-to-date web front-end with a tiny local software, the Companion Service, that is the gateway between the cloud and the devices connected to your computer or local network.

As such, the Companion Service is also the base component to connect any application built for the web with the 'physical world' of PC/SC couplers and Smart Readers, using only simple WebSocket and REST API calls.

Before you start using SpringCard Companion Web application (available at companion.springcard.com) you should install the Companion Service on a Windows computer.

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How to use Firmware Upgrade Utility

Firmware Upgrade Procedure

FUU “Firmware Upgrade Utility” is SpringCard’s all-in-one software to flash the firmware of most of the product families.

FUU could be use to flash the : H663, E663, S663 and K663 families.

First of all you'll need to download the Firmware Upgrade Utility software : https://www.springcard.com/fr/download/find/file/su13168

Once it's installed, launch it. You will see that window

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New version of FUU supports unattended H663 firmware upgrade

FUU "Firmware Upgrade Utility" is SpringCard's all-in-one software to flash the firmware of most of the product families.

The H663 family (including the H663 OEM module itself, and also the Prox'N'Roll HSP, CrazyWriter HSP, TwistyWriter HSP and CSB HSP) is architectured over an Atmel (now Microchip) MCU, which could be flashed through USB. FUU Supports this family for long, and comes with Atmel DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) driver for Windows.

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SpringField Colorado makes it easy to recognize the SpringCard smart reader you are using!

You know the scene in the movie where the support guys are desperately trying to help a customer configuring a very specific product, only to discover minutes after that the customer has a totally different product in hands? Since SpringCard offers a very wide range of products, and since most products look the same (well, there's nothing that resembles more closely an OEM NFC/RFID device than another NFC/RFID device), we experience this frequently. Our customer's technicians sometimes face the same situation, when they come to the field and don't know whether a colleague has already upgraded a firmware, uploaded a new configuration, or not.

To ease the job of all support teams and maintenance technicians, we've introduced an exciting new feature in all the "smart readers" firmware (aka all /RDR and RFID Scanner products). Starting with FW version 1.69, the reader is able to communicate with an Android application (code-name "SpringField Colorado") and sends its identifier, version, serial number... This application runs on Android 4.4 and later, provided that the smartphone supports NFC. It takes benefit of the NFC host-card emulation (HCE) mode.

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SCardSniffer spies the exchanges between a PC/SC application and PC/SC middleware

SCardSniffer is a new tool used to spy the exchanges between Windows applications and the smart cards or NFC tags that are accessed through a PC/SC reader (or coupler).

SCardSniffer
SCardSniffer main window

On a Windows computer, all card-aware applications communicate with smart cards or NFC tags through the system's PC/SC library, winscard.dll.

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SpringCard PC/SC SDK VERSION 2016.03

The version 2016.03 of our PC/SC SDK is now available for download: pcsc-sdk_2016-03.zip.

You can use it with our products in the SpringCard CSB6 Family (CSB6, Prox'N'Roll PC/SC, EasyFinger and CrazyWriter), with our products in the H663 family (Prox'N'Roll HSP PC/SC, CrazyWriter HSP, TwistyWriter HSP, CSB HSP) and our NFC readers/encoders (H512, NFC'Roll).

This SDK is also available on GitHub.

This SDK contains a new version of MemoryCardTool, a new tool called "scriptorxv" and a serie of basic projects for beginners.

New SDK for SpringCard's RDR products

The SDK for our RDR products has just been released. It concerns the following devices:

Complete programs are included : for example, a program that monitors a lits of readers, and talk to each one independantly (to set a buzzer, or a LED).

There are also more basic examples, like a command line application to retrieve the badge numbers, read on a specific reader.

The SDK provides both source code (in C, C# and java) and the compiled binaries.

It is available through a zip file, downloadable from our website. It can also be tracked and cloned from our Github repository.

Contact us for technical information or for commercial requests.