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Frequently Asked Questions

What does this library do?
The basic aim of the Thales Simulator Library is to facilitate the creation of a program that can emulate a Thales HSM on a TCP/IP network. Ideally, that would mean that a host application that needs access to an HSM device may interface to the Thales Simulator and issue commands without knowing (or caring) that the device is simulated.

Who would use this library?
The library can be used by anyone that has an interest in using HSM devices mainly for two reasons:
  • The library is free.
  • The library can be used anywhere.
What would one need to use this library?
A good level of understanding of the Thales HSM is essential. Knowledge of VB.Net and Visual Studio 2008 is also recommended, but any person that attempts to use the library without knowing how the Thales HSM works does not stand any real chance of making good use of the library.

Is the library extensible?
A good deal of effort was devoted to making the library as extensible as possible. Forgetting that the code is open, the library can compile VB.Net code at runtime in order to build Thales commands that are not precompiled in the binaries.

Is the library free?
Absolutely. Use and/or modify at your heart's content.

Is the library any good for use on a secure environment?
Absolutely not. The very first thing that the library does is to create a set of local master keys on a text file, in clear form for everyone to see. A real HSM does not provide access to the local master keys under any circumstances. In addition, the library provides an easy way to bring the simulator into authorized mode without requiring a two-person rule, smart cards and PIN codes, as opposed to a real HSM. The only intended use of the simulator library is as a testing tool, a production environment necessitates the use of a real HSM device.

Why are some Thales commands not implemented?
During the implementation of this library, emphasis was placed on implementing aspects of the Thales command arsenal that were of most use to the authors. That means that several commands were not implemented fully (like the PA-Load Formatting Data whose sole implementation task is to respond to the host application) or not at all.

Last edited Jul 8, 2010 at 10:47 PM by nickntg, version 1

Comments

silverlight5 Aug 29, 2012 at 9:47 AM 
Well done Racal Recorders geniuses :)
Ali Adams
www.heliwave.com