Certification to ensure conformity to or interoperability with MIFARE products

Conformity to and interoperability with MIFARE products is vital to the success of products, manufactured by or under license of NXP, and to that of implementations, designed to work with MIFARE products. Especially with an ever-increasing number of companies that manufacture licensed products or implementations.

Of equal importance to the success of those solutions and to MIFARE is that this conformity to and interoperability with MIFARE products is established independently. Independent test houses and certification institutes offer worldwide certification for those licensed products and implementations, that meet the requirements for MIFARE.

Independent certification ensures (tendering) parties that they can rely on the fact that certified card products from any supplier will work correctly with any certified terminal/reader. Certified products demonstrate commitment to quality, interoperability and reliability and establish trust with customers.

Certification is done from two angels:

  1. Functional Certification
  2. Security Certification

It is recommended that applicants first gain Functional Certification of their products before proceeding with Security Certification.

Functional Certification

Functional Certification ensures that the implementation of the respective MIFARE product conforms with all requirements and is primarily used to guarantee that the card, user media or reader products from a supplier will work correctly with any certified terminal or reader. Certified products fulfill the functional requirements in quality, reliability and interoperability for smart and secure MIFARE contactless ICs.

Functional certification can consist of 2 levels, depending on the product.

Functional Certification Level 1

Level 1 ensures that the licensed product implementation shows the correct behavior according to the specification of the respective MIFARE product. This includes NXP’s MIFARE ICs as well as implementations from licensees.

Level 1 offers functional certification of licensed MIFARE product implementations. The Level 1 certificate allows vendors, such as card manufacturers, to identify functionally correct products for their solutions. The test house’s thorough understanding of the technical requirements, in-depth knowledge about smart cards and mobile devices, combined with a clear certification process will certify the quality of the licensed MIFARE product implementations while maintaining a fast time to market.

Functional Certification Level 2

Level 2 concerns the testing and certification of the proper MIFARE product functionality on the RFID (air) interface (ISO/IEC 14443A part 3). Wave shapes and timing conditions are measured according to the respective ISO specification and with extended requirements for products. This concerns smart card, user media and inlay products as well as reader/writer terminal products.

The following independent test houses provide Functional Certification services:

  • UL (Functional Certification – Level 1)

UL is a world leader in advancing safety. UL Transaction Security offers advisory services, test and certification services, security evaluation services, training, and test tools.

Arsenal Testhouse is experienced in certifying contactless transmission via an RF interface. Its experts provide support from the development phase to the manufacture stage, as well as testing and consulting services.

  • LSI-TEC (Functional Certification – Level 2)

LSI-TEC certifies the interoperability of cards containing MIFARE IC products and qualifies inlays according to particular test specifications. LSI-TEC validates the interoperability of MIFARE IC-based cards to ensure the certified card is able to establish reliable communication through an ISO/IEC 14443 compliant RF interface with reader terminals from different manufacturers.

Security Certification

Security Certification ensures the correct implementation of security-related features in MIFARE ICs, required to provide a secure environment for system providers and end-users.

This certification can be achieved in two ways:

  • Common Criteria Evaluation to EAL4+ (EAL4 augmented by ALC_DVS.2 and AVA_VAN.5) level (see commoncriteriaportal.org)
  • Evaluation according to the Security Certification scheme for MIFARE products which is based on international standards used for banking grade security. This scheme is conducted by independent test houses and governed by NXP

Common Criteria Evaluation

The Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation (abbreviated as Common Criteria or CC) is an international standard (ISO/IEC 15408 and ISO/IEC 18045) for computer security certification. Security certification can be performed within any of the SOG-IS participating schemes qualified for EAL1-7 for “Smartcards and similar devices” (see www.sogisportal.eu for more details).

Security Certification

The Security Certification scheme for MIFARE products requires resistance against attackers with attack potential “high” according to the JIL Hardware Attack Subgroup (JHAS) document “Application of Attack Potential to Smartcards”. This is the same level of attack resistance as used for a Common Criteria evaluation. The evaluation process under the Security Certification Scheme is optimized and tailored to MIFARE product-based applications. Hence being able to reduce generic documentation efforts with a focus on the implementation security of MIFARE products. This in turn results on less time spent for the evaluation and lower costs.

Have a look at already successfully issued Security Certificates.


Advantages of the Security Certification scheme for MIFARE products

  • Less overhead effort on manufacturer/evaluator side
  • Reduced time to market
  • Delivering same attach resistance level of security as for Common Criteria
  • Less expensive compared to the Common Criteria certification process
  • Avoidance of bottlenecks at labs, CA capacities or internal resources for work on CC

How to Apply for Security Certification

You can download the presentation about the Security Certification scheme for MIFARE products for more information.

  1. To make enquiries please fill in the Application Form and send it to mifarecertification@nxp.com.
  2. To start a renewal for an existing certificate please also fill in the Application form and include a corresponding remark when you send the same to mifarecertification@nxp.com.
  3. The possible start date for a renewal security evaluation is six months before the expiration date of the existing Approval letter. The extended life cycle will be linked to the previous expiration date.
  4. After the submission, you will receive an extended PRN Number which is 1:1 related to the initial one, i.e. PRN_yyyy_xxx_Rxx (R=renewal). In the same manner we will proceed when we issue the Approval Number, i.e. ARN_yyy_xxx_Rxx (R=Renewal).

The following independent and globally reputed laboratories meet the requirements of the Security Certification scheme for MIFARE products: