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Browse Prior Art Database

Supervisor Password Access to System Partition on Initial Microprogram Load Machines

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000104456D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Germain, MN: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Described is a firmware-only (microcode) enhancement to the security features of personal computers (PC) with a bootable Initial Microprogram Load (IML) Partition. It provides password control of access to the functions of the Reference Diskette, whether booted from diskette or from the IML Partition.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 80% of the total text.

Supervisor Password Access to System Partition on Initial Microprogram Load Machines

      Described is a firmware-only (microcode) enhancement to the
security features of personal computers (PC) with a bootable Initial
Microprogram Load (IML) Partition.  It provides password control of
access to the functions of the Reference Diskette, whether booted
from diskette or from the IML Partition.

      In some circumstances, a PC may be required for use in a
controlled environment so that the diskette drive cannot be booted or
accessed.  It may be necessary for the delegated "owner" of the PC to
prevent a user from accessing unauthorized diskettes.  This access
may, for instance, introduce viruses into the machine or make
malicious use of the Reference Diskette functions, possibly
destroying data on the hardfile.

      An operating environment can be set up to prevent unauthorized
access to the diskette drive.  However, to prevent the unauthorised
booting of diskettes, the diskette drive must be removed from the
boot sequence or machine security can be compromised.

      An IML machine has the facility to prevent diskettes from being
booted by changing the boot sequence of the machine.  However, a
sophisticated user might change this sequence back by using a
Reference Diskette or the Reference Diskette image on the hardfile.
Prevention of unauthorized access to the facilities needed to change
the boot sequence can be prevented as follows:

1.  Change the...