Browse Prior Art Database

Data Protection on Magnetic Media Via an Encrypting Controller

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039889D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Flavin, RA: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A security system which provides various degrees of data protection for data contained on a disk of a personal computer or the like is disclosed and preferably comprises: a microprocessor for controlling the operation of the security system elements and for storing the keys of the security system; an encryption means arranged for encrypting all data to be written onto a disk and for decrypting encrypted information read from a disk; a disk controller for receiving instructions from the microprocessor and for reading data from or writing encrypted data onto a disk as a result of those instructions; and a ROM (read-only memory) arranged to permit the installation of keys in the security system, wherein one of the keys of the system is a default key which controls the encryption and which is only knowable to an original installer.

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Data Protection on Magnetic Media Via an Encrypting Controller

A security system which provides various degrees of data protection for data contained on a disk of a personal computer or the like is disclosed and preferably comprises: a microprocessor for controlling the operation of the security system elements and for storing the keys of the security system; an encryption means arranged for encrypting all data to be written onto a disk and for decrypting encrypted information read from a disk; a disk controller for receiving instructions from the microprocessor and for reading data from or writing encrypted data onto a disk as a result of those instructions; and a ROM (read-only memory) arranged to permit the installation of keys in the security system, wherein one of the keys of the system is a default key which controls the encryption and which is only knowable to an original installer. The provided system prevents a user of the computer from writing to a disk on one machine and then reading that disk on another machine not having a similar system with an identical default key. The system also readily permits the installation of a password key as well as user- defined keys which may be used to establish a hierarchical security arrangement. This security system may be contained on a single card and is compatible with computer systems having disk inputs/outputs based on sectors. The system utilizes a microprocessor for controlling the operation of the card and for storing various keys of the system which are hereinafter described. The system further includes an encryption means arranged for encrypting all data to be written onto a disk and for decrypting encrypted information read from a disk, a disk controller for receiving instructions from the microprocessor and for reading data from or writing encrypted data onto a disk as a result of those instructions, and a ROM arranged to permit the installation of keys in the system. The disk controller is compatible with the disk(ette) drives intended for the computer, and the encryption means can be any known in the art which are based on data encryption algorithms. Upon initial powering-up of the security system, a default key is installed through the use of special hardware and is thus only known to the installer (e.g., the owner). The default key is the key to the encryption means which is arranged to encrypt a...