Browse Prior Art Database

Proximity Activated Computer Console Lock

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000110299D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-25
Document File: 4 page(s) / 185K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Fogg, RG: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This device greatly enhances security of a workstation by automatically blanking the display and locking the keyboard when unattended.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 44% of the total text.

Proximity Activated Computer Console Lock

       This device greatly enhances security of a workstation by
automatically blanking the display and locking the keyboard when
unattended.

      The uniqueness is not in the individual parts of the invention,
which are known and/or available items, but in the way they are
combined to produce a working system.

      The problem of unattended workstations is currently addressed
by programs such as KEYLOCK or XLOCK which are run before the user
leaves the workstation.  They usually clear the screen and prevent
use of the keyboard until a password is input.  However, their
Achilles' heel is that the user must consciously start them up before
leaving the workstation.  Also, many of these programs can be
circumvented by simple techniques.

      This system secures the computer automatically with no user
involvement, no hardware or software changes.  Likewise, since it is
a separate device, it is much harder to get around or break than
software.

      The system consists of two parts; an active ID tag and a
transponder unit.  Think of the transponder as a wedge between the
keyboard and display, connected to the computer.  The wedge is
mounted inside the covers of the computer to be secured.  This
assumes that the covers can be made secure.  The keyboard and display
are connected to the wedge, which in turn is connected to the
keyboard and video ports on the computer.

      The tags would be carried by persons authorized to use
computers and would each have a unique identification mechanism that
can be remotely queried by the wedge.  These tags would ideally be
embedded in standard identification badges or other similar
universally distributed items.

      When an authorized tag is brought within close proximity of the
wedge, the wedge will then connect (turn on) the video and keyboard.
When the badge is removed from the immediate area, the video and
keyboard are disconnected, and thus blanking and locking the video
and keyboard.  An unauthorized badge will be ignored and cause no
action.  The maximum wedge to tag distance can (and should) be
adjustable for flexibility in various situations.

      In the case of the RS/6000, the wedge unit would be mounted
inside the rear cover.  Short cords would go from the wedge to the
keyboard and video connections with matching connectors on the wedge
unit for the standard video and keyboard cables.  The wedge will use
power from the keyboard port.  The tag could be embedded in a badge
or some other small device.

      The wedge will continuously broadcast an RF carrier, and on a
periodic basis (several times per second) the wedge will also send
out a signal containing a random number generated in the wedge.  The
tag could be powered by the RF signal from the wedge (no batteries!).
The response from the tag would consist of an encoded (encrypted?)
version of the random number that was generated by the wedge,...