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Biometric Hard Drive Security System Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020375D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Nov-18
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Nov-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 84K

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A method of physically and logically securing a hard drive or any number of hard drives in a case-enclosed computer such that theft of the hard drive and hard drive data is prevented with a high degree of certainty. Many laptop and desktop computers have physical arrangements that allow for easy removal of hard drives for system maintenance with no mechanism to block removal by an unauthorized individual. Some known solutions to this problem include hard drive data encryption and case locking mechanisms. The biometric hard drive security system allows for easy maintenance access while still retaining a high degree of physical and information security. This method of securing information is specifically designed to protect mobile and stationary computers that are employed as control systems in critical infrastructure applications.

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Biometric Hard Drive Security System

By arranging sensors inside the desktop or mobile computer to detect attempts to force the external case open, the hard drive and its data is secured against physical theft or unauthorized removal with a high degree of certainty. Using biometric or any alternative means of authentication to manage external case access, the rightful owner of the system can open the external case to physically access the hard drive. Furthermore, a forcible entry sensor subsystem is employed to detect unauthorized attempts to access external computer case. When the forcible entry subsystem detects an intrusion event, it will take predefined actions in accordance with a security policy subsystem. The actions and protections that are possible are as follows:

  Low level format of hard drive Electromagnetic pulse to erase the data Sector or block scrambling (if data is to be recovered later) Logging of intrusion events and security actions (logs are written to firmware) Using these measures means that data on a mobile or desktop computer can be secured with a high degree of certainty from theft or unauthorized removal. One manifestation of this invention includes security components that are integrated with the computers Basic Input Output System (BIOS). The integration of this system in a computer's architecture would be arranged as shown in Figure 1.

                         Figure 1. The arrows in Figure 1. indicate the flow of information between each logical subsystem component. Each subsystem component provides services to deliver physical and information security. The forcible entry subsystem detects unauthori...