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Method to deter attacks on secure computer systems.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016173D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Oct-11
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A hardware method is disclosed that makes tampering with logic elements of computer systems that are related to security much more difficult. In discussions of security schemes involving BIOS code on personal computer systems it is often mentioned that "the security goes out the window if someone unsolders the BIOS flash EEPROM and replaces it with a part with a non-secure bios". It has been suggested that the flash part be covered with some sort of tamper evident tape but this only aids in an investigation of what happened after a security breach has taken place that was facilitated by replacement of the flash part by someone intent on mischief. It should be noted that flash parts are fairly small devices with a modest number of interface connections. They can be removed and replaced by someone of modest electronic board rework skills with tools that are readily available and fairly inexpensive.