Tuesday, September 25, 2018

macOS Mojave and smart cards status

macOS Mojave (macOS 10.14) is now available since 24th September, 2018.

API Differences between 10.13 and 10.14

The differences should be listed in the developer page macOS Mojave 10.14.
The changes for Mojave are not yet available.


Since Yosemite (10.10) the PC/SC layer is no more a fork of pcsc-lite. So comparing versions with pcsc-lite is useless.

$ cat /System/Library/Frameworks/PCSC.framework/Versions/A/Resources/version.plist
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">

The BuildVersion moved from 10 in Sierra 10.13.6 to 163 in Mojave 10.14.0. Maybe Apple made 163 - 10 = 153 internal/alpha/beta releases?

The SourceVersion moved from 281050022000000 in High Sierra 10.13.6 to 281200021000000 in Mojave 10.14.0. I have no idea how to parse or use this information.

PC/SC Bugs fixed

These bugs were found in High Sierra are now fixed in Mojave:
  • Typo in error message from PC/SC call pcsc_stringify_error(), bug #40995115.
    pcsc_stringify_error() returned "Unkown error" instead of ""UnkNown error" for unknown error codes.
Maybe some other PC/SC bugs (unknown by me) have been fixed.


CryptoTokenKit is the native smart card API since the complete rewrite in macOS Yosemite 10.10 (OS X Yosemite BETA and smart cards status).

$ strings /System/Library/Frameworks/CryptoTokenKit.framework/CryptoTokenKit | grep BuildRoot

In Mojave CryptoTokenKit source code is at version 281.200.21. It was at version 281.1.1 in High Sierra 10.13.0 and 281.50.22 in High Sierra 10.13.6.
Since the source code is not available I can't write much more than that.

CCID driver

Driver version: 1.4.27.

$ grep -A 1 CFBundleShortVersionString /usr/libexec/SmartCardServices/drivers/ifd-ccid.bundle/Contents/Info.plist

This is the exact same version as in Hight Sierra 10.13.0.

Note that the CCID version 1.4.28 was released in October 2017 and version 1.4.29 in February 2018. Apple had plenty of time to upgrade the CCID driver. This is surprising.

The current version of the CCID driver is 1.4.30. This version was released 5 days before Mojave so I was not expecting to see this version included in Mojave.


No much visible changes in the smart card layer in macOS Mojave.

It is surprising Apple has not upgraded the CCID driver since the previous major version of macOS. I understand this major version of macOS is not a revolution but more a stabilisation of macOS.