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Thread: Hardware security sneaks into PCs

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2004

    Hardware security sneaks into PCs


    "Our success is not dependent on Microsoft,"
    Maybe not, but with their market share I can't see it being that successful without MS making Longhorn compatible.

    The technology locks specialized encryption keys in a data vault--essentially a chip on the computer's motherboard. Computers with the feature can wall off data, secure communications and identify systems belonging to the company or to business partners. That means companies can improve the security of access to corporate data, even when the PC is not connected to a network.
    \"You got a mouth like an outboard motor..all the time putt putt putt\" - Foghorn Leghorn

  2. #2
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    This is the greatest threat to the PC in its entire history.
    It would be a set of blockages, limitations, and impairments
    that would destroy the flexibility of the computer, transforming
    it into a passive entertainment device that would be forced to honor
    all the DRM code that hollywood wants to embed in its entertainment files.

    Your hard drive would not be able to save a file unless the "security" chip gave the OK.
    Every file or piece of data that passed through your machine would carry certain
    permissions that your hardware would enforce ruthlessly. In one
    scenario I heard of, a "whistleblower" at some company might
    try to leak evidence against his boss to the
    press, but the memo would fail to
    appear on the reporter's PC
    because of Such

    I say "NO! to all hardware-based security solutions.
    They would be a noose that would eventually
    hang us all.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    I imagine viruses would soon arrive on the scene to use the technology for its own purposes (damage decryption ability, etc). You try to access your walled up data only to find another wall between you and the data.
    \"You got a mouth like an outboard motor..all the time putt putt putt\" - Foghorn Leghorn

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Personally I would see a Data only available if the following takes place

    Login Name (Now!)

    Password (Now1)

    PC Hardware Fingerprint :IE mac address, hardware config, etc.... (future!)

    PC Software fingerprint :IE what software is installed, checksums of a combination of software (future!)

    How or where it is login from (Now!)

    What comm protocals and services are active on a PC (future!)

    Use of encription when connected (Now!)

    There may be other ways out there.... But who knows what the future will bring... It will be different.
    Franklin Werren at www.bagpipes.net
    Yes I do play the Bagpipes!

    And learning to Play the Bugle

  5. #5
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Hmm... so the software crackers out there will have to take a back seat to all the EE's who will find a way to litterally hack up the hardware to ignore the DRM...

    It happens with game consoles... why not with PCs?

    I just find it a bit depressing that I'm going to have to install mod chips on my PCs so I can decide with which media players I want to watch/listen to which media, etc.

    Pretty soon you'll need to install a mod chip on any machine that comes with the "built/designed for <insert m$ OS here>" sticker on the front of the tower just to install another OS.

    They can say... "well, it was right on the front of the box! We didn't force you to use our operating system... you should have known when you bought it!"
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  6. #6
    AO Senior Cow-beller
    zencoder's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Mountain standard tribe.
    I have an idea why Microsoft won't discuss NGSCB much...they are too busy making it all work...XboX2, Longhorn, and all... http://money.cnn.com/2004/05/26/comm...column_gaming/

    And to be honest, I don't think it's a bad idea...for a gaming console. I sure as hell wish I could do more with my XboX without buying a mod-chip and violating my EULA. (That sounds rather naughty..."would you like to violate my EULA?")

    If I could throw my old PC games on my Xbox NG-PC-2 thingy and play them...on my HD-TV (like I play my current Xbox games), I'd glady pay more for XboxNG-whaddevah than I did for this old Xbox. And if it plays legacy AND modern pc games, so much the better...peripheral compatibilty, etc. I would love all that...but I don't think that is going to come to fruition. They make too much money on licensing and selling proprietary hardware. The 'Universal Serial Bus' controllers on Xbox are not.

    But when asked if Xbox2 would have Longhorn and the new DirectX code at its core, Dean Lester (Windows Graphics and Gaming manager) declined to comment.
    HHHHhhhmmmmmmmmmmmm. Maybe Microsoft isn't saying much because they don't HAVE to...because they are ALREADY using the code specs that Intel, Dell, et al have subscribed to?
    "Data is not necessarily information. Information does not necessarily lead to knowledge. And knowledge is not always sufficient to discover truth and breed wisdom." --Spaf
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  7. #7
    Member ams2d's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Another article on this topic


    Eventually the TPM will be built into the main processor itself, and if the trusted computing group has its way then you will find one in every piece of hardware you own, from mobile phones to TV set top boxes to children's toys.

    But for the moment it is a separate piece of hardware, providing enhanced security features to programs that know how to use them.
    Hardware security is less common, even if it is a lot safer.

    This is partly because it is more expensive to give someone a smartcard than a password, but also because its more work for users, systems administrators and managers.

    As a result we settle for second best.
    Wise men talk because they have something to say;
    fools, because they have to say something.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    I'm kind of concerned about the application and implementation. Management from a systems admin perspective sounds like a nightmare. And, what happens when a user in a high-turnover environment like ours (education) modifies the encryption chip and renders the system unusable for anyone else? Yeah, this will just push us away from buying workstations for the student classrooms and such now. We'll probably go thin client and VMs.

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