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A mechanism for deterring the illegal copying of computer adapters by providing an authentication method to be used on each adapter as it is installed into a system

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199810D
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This publication describes a mechanism that allows for the validation of computer I/O adapters as genuine vendor parts, as opposed to pirated/cloned parts, when they are first inserted into computer system by using a public/private key exchange.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

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A mechanism for deterring the illegal copying of computer adapters by providing an authentication method to be

used on each adapter as it is installed into a system

There is a proliferation of pirated/cloned I/O adapters being sold to unsuspecting customer as genuine vendor parts. There is no

mechanism in place with these I/O adapter to allow for their authenticity to be validated by the systems into which they installed.

This invention describes a mechanism that allows for the validation of adapters when first inserted into system using a

private key exchange. The mechanism that handles the validation would be implemented in three parts:

A web-based database application that customers can access interactively that initially accepts a Product Key shipped with the

adapter when new as part of it's documentation. Initial registration of the adapter is accomplished using the Product Key in

conjunction with the adapter serial number. On subsequent uses of the web application the customer will then enter the adapter

serial number and system serial number as input and generate a public System Key, which is then displayed to the customer.

Keys for a specific adapter serial number would only be allowed a finite number of public System Serial numbers to be

generated.

Two writeable fields in NVRAM on the adapter would be added to store key information. The first field would contain the

public Product Key generated using the Product Key (that is shipped as part of the adapter's documentation) in conjunction with

the adapter serial number. This key would be written once and should never need to be updated. The second field would be the

key generated by the web-based application using the adapter serial number in conjunction with the system serial number. The

second field could be updated as required if the adapter is moved from system to system by generating a new public System Key

using the web-based application.

A modification to the ConfigMethod used by the operating system to discover and bring adapters to the 'Available' state

would check for the public keys stored on NVRAM on the card. If no valid keys are found then it would prompt for the input

of whatever public key is unavailable, either the public Product Key, the public System Key or both. Valid keys, when

.entered, would be stored to appropriate fields in NVRAM on the adapter

Mechanism Description

Web-based application flow chart (part 1): (Initial Registration Routine)

§ Input of adapter serial number (a value that can be queried by the OS)
§ Check against an internal database to determine if that adapter serial number has previously been authenticated and

registered
§ If yes, skip to 'System Registration Routine'
§ If no, request the input of the Product Key (shipped with the adapter documentation)
§ If it is valid, generate a public Product Key based on the adapter serial number and the Product Key, insert a record in the

internal database for the adapter showing it as 'regist...