South Australian Company Axeze launches its new KEP Reader. Technology is always changing, the faster we learn the faster the technology seems to be changing. The same is happening at Axeze. “We constantly carry out research and development to upgrade our products all the time” said CEO Shelley Elder,” if we don’t we will soon fall behind the eight ball.”
Axeze initial goal in redeveloping the KEP reader was to replace aging components and develop a product that included those features that our clients have received from their customers with regards to future development. At the same time Axeze wanted to reduce the production cost and therefore the end purchase price as well as supporting HID USB device which uses standard drivers provided by Atmel that will be installed automatically by Windows.
The Output Port setting enables information to be output from the Reader and viewed by the user in a manner set by them. For instance you can suppress the Reader ID when using HID Keyboard or you can suppress the Check byte or both.
The following area available for the new KEP:
- HID USB Generic
- HID Keyboard
- HID CDC (Virtual Comms Port)
- Real Com Port
- Wiegand output (available if demand requires it)
Axeze is using a powerful micro controller, ARM based Cortex M4 32bit processor which has a lot of ability for any designers to utilise. Additional advantages are that this chip has low power consumption and high capabilities. This has provided Axeze with the ability to handle HEX and decimal outputs easily. “We have implemented the algorithms that can support big HEX Codes or big numeric codes” said Shelley Elder.
Our goal is to provide quality Australian made product at affordable prices. Our products are designed and manufactured in Australia, but many of the chips or components are bought in from overseas.
“We are very excited about our new KEP reader because it is so powerful and capable of being used for so many tasks. The most exciting change is the ability to automatically install the driver for the operating system for all the options other than the Virtual Com Port.”
Shelley said that “the firmware is ready – so Axeze can handle any tag i.e. Mifare, NFC, RFID etc. however the reader to support the technology may require some further development. If necessary we can even support Wiegand, its all designed, we just need to manufacture the readers. When configuring the Axeze KEP Reader, Axeze Credential Management software enables the end user to configure the reader to
- Read Only Cards
- Read Write Tags or
- To finish on a new line
This HID capability means that Axeze Readers can send the badged card code to the current position of the cursor. It can send a tag code to any Text Control, so this enables smooth ongoing development.
Wristband tags used extensively in the hospitality industry can be used for access control, drive through refrigerators, cash registers or anywhere id management is required on a site.
The Axeze KEP Reader can have it’s own ID for security purposes, programming purposes, site management purposes, or other purpose as known by the user. Each processor used in the Axeze KEP USB reader comes from the factory with a unique serial number. This makes every Axeze KEP USB Reader traceable which is very important for government identity management projects.
The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the symmetric block cipher ratified as a standard by National Institute of Standards and Technology of the United States (NIST), was chosen using a process lasting from 1997 to 2000 that was markedly more open and transparent than its predecessor, the aging Data Encryption Standard (DES). With the Axeze KEP Reader you can enable the
Output Encryption. The Axeze KEP Reader encryption is compliant with the FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) Publication 197, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) which specifies a symmetric block cipher that is used to encrypt and decrypt electronic data.
Encryption is the transformation of a usable message, called the ‘plain text’, into an unreadable form, called the ‘cipher text’. On the other hand, ‘decryption’ is the transformation that recovers the ‘plain text’ from the ‘cipher text’.
When ‘Output Encryption’ is enabled, the number of output bytes from the reader is always a multiple of sixteen depending on whole ‘output format’ length. In the other word, the length of original output format will always get normalized by adding zeroes to the end of it to make it divisible by sixteen.
The Axeze KEP Reader encryption supports 128 bits cryptographic key size. It also supports all five confidentiality modes of operation for symmetric key block cipher algorithms as recommended in the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Special Publication 800-38A, Recommendation for Block Cipher Modes of Operation – Methods and Techniques.
These five supported modes of encryption operation are:
- Electronic Code Book (ECB)
- Cipher Book Chaining (CBC)
- Cipher Feedback (CFB)
- Output Feedback (OFB)
- Counter (CTR)
The protocols are selectable and the credential can be sent encrypted. Axeze are using standard algorithms software to decrypt.
The Axeze KEP reader is configurable i.e. select output/HID keyboard specific setting/Reader ID/Transponder type. Some of the improvements on the Axeze KEP Reader add more security, this includes:
- Password to change configuration. If the password is lost, resetting to Factory Default will not over ride the Password protection.
- The ability to suppress and ID, or to move the order of the output settings make this a truly powerful product.
New Credential Management software (ACM) is available for developers. Using ACM you can use the program to choose the functionality desired:
- Output format
- Other settings
- Upgrade firmware
Axeze is now in a position to provide Dual Reader/Triple reader technology in a single unit. The demand is not there yet, but they are ready. “We are even able to work with NFC when our clients are ready.” With all these changes clients do not need to install drivers, or search for the drivers, it is all automated.