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Registered: ‎06-26-2013

Smart vending machine integration: Encryption questions

Hi -

Question summary: I'm confused about how encryption / decryption is handled from card readers.

 

Background:

Assume I'm building a very low cost, smart vending machine. When deployed, it will operate as a card-present, unattended terminal.  The machine will have in it:

  • OEM card reader from Magtek, connected via USB to...:
  • A tiny board with a CPU / RAM running embedded Linux, running a custom little Python application which...:
  • Talks over a wireless data connection to the Internet.

The Magtek reader will be injected with an encryption key during manufacture, which will encrypt the card data at the reader head. Magtek tells me that this key comes from the credit card gateway provider, and that the vending machine passes the encrypted data directly (encrypted) to the gateway, which decrypts & authorizes.  (This is to avoid the possibility that a bad-guy inserts a USB device in-line in order to capture credit card swipe info.)

 

I'm working on the assumption that I'm using the Authorize.Net AIM method to conduct transactions.

 

Two things are not clear to me:

  1. What key to provide to Magtek to insert.  I thought it might be the transaction key; but this doesn't make complete sense to me, mostly because I'm unfamiliar doing direct work down at this card swipe level.
  2. If I were to use an SDK, I wouldn't know what information to put into the various fields.  All I will receive from the swipe is "track 1, track 2"... contents - encrypted.

Can anybody straighten me out?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Registered: ‎06-23-2011

Re: Smart vending machine integration: Encryption questions

For this to be secure, the data can not be decrypted at any point before it hits Authorize.net. This means in turn that Authorize.net has to be able to take the encrypted data, along with some key that's set using a totally separate process and stored internally on their end, and decrypt it. While there is a field in the Authorize.net CNP API for specifying a device, as far as I know, there is no support for proprietary decryption of this sort. Here is an official post from April 2012:

http://community.developer.authorize.net/t5/Integration-and-Testing/authorize-api-integration-and-en...

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Registered: ‎08-21-2009

Re: Smart vending machine integration: Encryption questions

TJPride is correct, but there has been some change of status since the post that he referenced. Our XML and SOAP APIs do now support the receipt of data encrypted at the card reader. In the very near future, you will be able to purchase encrypted swipe devices that are injected with the necessary encryption keys.

 

Unfortunately, we are still working out these distribution details with the device manufacturers. It will not be possible for you to obtain an encrypted reader until these agreements are finalized, but you can expect more news on this soon.

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Re: Smart vending machine integration: Encryption questions

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Re: Smart vending machine integration: Encryption questions

[ Edited ]

This means in turn that Authorize.net has to be able to take the encrypted data, along with some key that's set using a totally separate process and stored internally on their end, and decrypt it. While there is a field in the Authorize.net CNP API for specifying a device, as far as I know, there is no support for proprietary decryption of this sort. 

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Re: Smart vending machine integration: Encryption questions

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