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Multi-User Security SYSTEM for a Personal Computer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000038396D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Willson, D: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Where a Personal Computer (PC) may be used by more than one user, it may be desirable to provide password protection against unauthorized use. Unauthorized use of the PC, or merely unauthorized access to the associated large-capacity rigid disk, is precluded by the Hardware Security System (HSS) described herein, which also provides for changing required passwords. During the power-up sequence of the PC, the present system executes code residing in Eraseable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM) in response to entry of a password by the user, which also determines the level of access given to the user. Upon execution of the code, access to the entire system, or to the system without the rigid disk, is either allowed or denied. In either event, however, the EPROM is disconnected to preclude scanning for passwords.

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Multi-User Security SYSTEM for a Personal Computer

Where a Personal Computer (PC) may be used by more than one user, it may be desirable to provide password protection against unauthorized use. Unauthorized use of the PC, or merely unauthorized access to the associated large-capacity rigid disk, is precluded by the Hardware Security System (HSS) described herein, which also provides for changing required passwords. During the power-up sequence of the PC, the present system executes code residing in Eraseable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM) in response to entry of a password by the user, which also determines the level of access given to the user. Upon execution of the code, access to the entire system, or to the system without the rigid disk, is either allowed or denied. In either event, however, the EPROM is disconnected to preclude scanning for passwords. The EPROM is re- connected only when the power-up sequence is initiated again. Of course, it is presumed that the EPROM is physically secure in the chassis of the PC. Referring now to the figure, EPROM 12 is accessed during the PC power-up sequence in response to the RESET DRV signal applied to LATCH 13 from POWER ON RESET 14. EPROM 12 is disconnected by the GATE OFF signal applied to LATCH 13 from I/O ADDR DECODE 15. LATCH 16 permits entry of new passwords into EPROM 12 unless disabled by the PROM WRITE DISABLE signal from I/O ADDR DECODE 15. With continuing reference to the figure, the DRIVE SELECT sig...