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Original Publication Date: 1992-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Jan-23
Document File: 2 page(s) / 122K

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James D. Janzen: AUTHOR


Password protection of buttons, or features, on a communications console prevents unauthorized person- nel from using those features and prevents accidental button depresses.

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MOTOROLA INC. Technical Developments Volume 17 December 1992


by James D. Janzen


  Password protection of buttons, or features, on a communications console prevents unauthorized person- nel from using those features and prevents accidental button depresses.

  Systems that require the user to "log in" impose a non-discretionary policy of mandatory security rules on all users. This means that before the user is able to per- form any feature the system can do, they must enter their system ID and password. This restricts ". .access to objects based on the identity of the subjects and/or group to which they belong" and is based on a well- delined ownership of data concept [ 11. These technologies have the security software as part of the systems' oper- ating system so&are, and this restricted access to objects continues as long as the user has not terminated his/her access to the operating system (logged off).

  The method described in this paper operates in a laissez-faire security environment in which the security so&ware is not part of the systems operating system soft- ware, and a no ownership of data concept exists. This means that the user is able to perform any feature the system can do with unlimited access unless that feature requires further verification such as an entered password.

  Other technologies such as multi-user operating sys- tems lie UNIX* have passwords allowing access to all commands once the user has "logged in? In this type of system, the user "logs in" by entering his/her password only once. Once the password is entered no further password entry is required to perform any features as long as the user remains logged in. These implementa- tions also allow the user to change his/her password without the system administrator's knowledge or approval.

  Console users do not "log in:' Rather, the method described in this paper requires that the user enter a password every time a button is depressed, thereby enforcing a right-to-access privilege in which there is no

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ownership. This means that a console cannot restrict other consoles from performing password protected fea- tures. When the button is released, a password is again required to access the button's feature.


  Each button on the console has a unique switch address as in Figure 1. Using this switch address, a pass- word database (Figure 2) is setup containing the switch address, the number of passwords for that button, and the list of passwords which allow activation of the but- ton's feature. The password database is setup at initial system set-up time and is contained in the console code plug. This implemention suggests a minimum of two passwords-one for general use and one for maintenance use. Buttons that do not require password protection do not have their corresponding switch addresses entered in the password database. From Figure 1, this means that switches wi...