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Software SECURITY KEY

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000060575D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-08
Document File: 3 page(s) / 67K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Arai, M: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This article describes a software security key. The software security keylocking system would be operated completely from the keyboard. To lock the display, a user would depress a series of keys on the keyboard. To unlock the display, a user would have to type in the correct password that was predetermined. This password would be stored in non-volatile storage. If the terminal is powered off, key lock state will be kept. If while the display is locked the user forgets the password to unlock the display, a pre-assigned key will be used to unlock the display. However, in this operation, the display will sound the alarm at the highest volume for warning and write a warning message in nonvolatile storage. The user can look at this message by some operation.

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Software SECURITY KEY

This article describes a software security key. The software security keylocking system would be operated completely from the keyboard. To lock the display, a user would depress a series of keys on the keyboard. To unlock the display, a user would have to type in the correct password that was predetermined. This password would be stored in non-volatile storage. If the terminal is powered off, key lock state will be kept. If while the display is locked the user forgets the password to unlock the display, a pre-assigned key will be used to unlock the display. However, in this operation, the display will sound the alarm at the highest volume for warning and write a warning message in nonvolatile storage. The user can look at this message by some operation. BACKGROUND The Security Key used on Display Terminals today is a mechanical switch. Turning the switch "on" or "off" to "lock" or "unlock" the display is done with a key. Mechanical Keylocks work by inserting a key into a lock and turning the key. Several problems arise with this method: 1. The cost of mechanical parts is high compared to logic that could replace the switch. 2. A user must stock spare keys in the event of loss or damage. 3. It is difficult to make many different keys so that one key cannot be used in a different display. These restrictions are due to cost and physical limitations. By implementing the Security Key by use of a software method instead of a mechanical method, the above problems are solved and significant cost savings achieved. DEFINITION OF MODE The terminal has three modes in which to operate the software security key. 1. Pre- setup mode Set or change the security key information (password, etc.) from the keyboard. 2. Security key mode (security key active status) In this mode, the screen of the display becomes blank and input from the keyboard is rejected except for a special key. 3. Normal mode. This is the normal online operation of the display. DEFINITION OF THE SPECIAL KEY ON THE KEYBOARD In this section, we define the special key on the keyboard to operate the software security key. E-key --- This key is used to enter the security key mode. This key is assigned to some key on the keyboard. C-key --- This key is used to cancel the security key mode. This key is assigned to some key on the keyboard. R-key --- If a user forgets the password, this key is used. (A user can unlock the keyboard without the password.) PASSWORD All keys on the keyboard except the E-key and C-key are available for use as a password. The length of the password must be more than 3 keys and less than 10 keys. The pattern of the keys depends on the length of the password. In general there are 100 keys on the keyboard; therefore, the pattern of a possible security key combination is: 100 X 100 X 100 = 1000000. So, it is difficult for someone who does not know the password to unlock the keyboard. PRESETUP MODE In this mode, a user can set...