Browse Prior Art Database

Method for site-based authentication using authentication over the power wire

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000179634D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Feb-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Feb-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 28K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Method for site-based authentication using authentication over a power wire

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 53% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

Method for site-based authentication using authentication over the power wire

Stolen computers and lost computers are a significant security risk, especially as computers get smaller. Encrypted hard disks and boot passwords help to mitigate the risk, but if those passwords are compromised they are useless. The ultimate insurance against data theft due to computer theft would be if the computer would never boot after being stolen. Disclosed is a method for site-based authentication using authentication over a power wire by using two system Basic Input/Output System (BIOS)es.

As computers are used to store and process more and more important data, the integrity of those computers becomes more and more critical. Automatic site-based authentication can offer an innovative and effective solution to these problems. This may also be useful for reducing theft of demonstration equipment.

A signal is broadcast on the power grid of a building. A computer's power supply is instrumented to process this signal. The primary (BIOS) on the system in encrypted with a key B. A simple, unencrypted secondary BIOS is used to commence booting of the system. The secondary BIOS uses the power supply to interpret the wall power signal
to determine the key for the system's primary BIOS. Booting continues as normal.

The system to be protected, S, has two BIOSes: the normal primary system BIOS called Bp, which is encrypted and can be decrypted with key Kp; and a small secondary clear-text BIOS called Bs. The system also has a simple network interface N capable of communicating over the system's wall power lines. Additionally, S has a public key, Ske, and a private key, Skd. A secondary trusted server, T, knows S's public key, Ske, an...