Securing keyboard data from hardware and software keystroke loggers.
Original Publication Date: 2007-Mar-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2007-Mar-15
Disclosed is a method that adds encryption hardware to the keyboard and facilities to the OS such that an application can request an encrypted tunnel to the keyboard so that all keyboard traffic to the application is fully encrypted as it passes through the OS. This precludes hardware or software keystroke loggers from being able to trap useful data from the keyboard allowing the application to establish a more secure environment for itself.
THIS COPY WAS MADE FROM AN INTERNAL IBM DOCUMENT AND NOT FROM THE PUBLISHED BOOK
RPS820060536 Mark McBurney/Austin/IBM Roger Abrams
Securing keyboard data from hardware and software keystroke loggers .
This invention takes control of keyboard encryption away from the
OS and allows an application to create an encrypted tunnel from
the keyboard H/W directly to the application. This allows a
properly written application that wishes to implement a high
level of security to register an encryption key with the OS and
whenever that application has control of the keyboard the OS
signals the keyboard to use encryption for all data.
Alternatively, the keyboard may selectively encrypt portions of
keystroke stream such as normal ascii characters and allow
specific others to pass through without encryption. For example,
keystrokes the OS usually interprets directly like ALT-TAB, or
CTL-ALT-DEL might be given to the OS unencrypted. Elements of
this data stream would be marked such that the OS can distinguish
between encrypted data which is passed to the application
unexamined and data it should interpret which is processed by the
normal OS code paths. A preferred implementation for this
disclosure is for the application to register the public portion
of a public/private key pair with the OS. When that application
has focus the OS would send the key to the keyboard and tell the
keyboard to use it. When the application loses focus, the OS
would signal the ke...