Browse Prior Art Database

Personal Computer Security Password Control Scheme

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118593D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 60K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bonomo, R: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

This invention provides a customer with increased flexibility in his choice of security options provided by personal computers.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Personal Computer Security Password Control Scheme

      This invention provides a customer with increased flexibility
in his choice of security options provided by personal computers.

      Several previous IBM* Personal Computer models (68x5 and 68x7)
have incorporated a design to prevent the unauthorized access and
modification of passwords as one of their "high security" features.
The design was as follows:

Two levels of passwords are implemented:
  1.  A Privileged Operator Password (POP) that must be entered
       before the computer will complete its powerup sequence and
  2.  A Privileged Administrator Password (PAP) that must be
       entered before a system microcode update can take place
       or any system setup changes (such as boot device sequence)
       can be made.  Disabling the Operator Password check is one
       of the system setup changes that is forbidden unless the
       PAP is entered.

      The information pertaining to these passwords was stored in a
non-volatile memory device that, once the powerup sequence was
complete, could not be altered or read with any normal customer
accessible means.

Note:  Other IBM designs allow these passwords to be erased by moving
a jumper on the system board.

      This design, while effective for its intended purpose, left
the system open to the possibility of being taken out of service by
1) forgotten or lost passwords or 2) a person with malicious intent
activating the password protection features with unknown passwords.
The only way t...