State Based Cloaking
Original Publication Date: 2002-May-11
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
The world is rapidly becoming connected via the internet. This advance in technology is revolutionizing the way many people live their lives from shopping to seeking entertainment and information. However a major down side in the use of the internet is the potential for loss of privacy or anonymity. Today we have access to information and services but may re anonymous. For example, people make purchases made with cash, read newspapers, and watch broadcast TV/cable. The internet allows the ability to do all of these functions from the PC, however it allows merchants or institutions to identify a PC and track each access on the web. Internet companies have began to track who is using their services and what their preferences are. This is highly useful information for the companies tracking this information, but it is also invading the privacy of the users of the service. This allows for everything from increased "target" marketing to making public an individuals embarrassing habits, behavior, or interests. The flack over Intel's processor ID illustrated the seriousness and perceived threat of this issue. Although the processor ID caught the headlines, there are additional mechanisms to allow the tracking of a PC's usage. Previous disclosures have provided the ability to "cloak" the MAC address and UUID. A side effect of this solution, was that it created problems for management applications (LCCM) that rely on the MAC address to identify and track the PC. This disclosures provides a mechanism to allow PC to enable cloak UUID MAC address for applications while allowing management applications to use UUID MAC address for manageability. This disclosure creates state based cloaking. BIOS monitors the boot activity and determines when to invoke cloaking. The "real" MAC address and UUID are available for use and can be obtained via PXE functions by a remote machine from the network. This allows management applications (LCCM) to use the MAC address UUID to identify the client.