Intel motherboard locked in secrecy

Monday, 27 October 2003, 8:29 AM EST

The TPM is an addition to the standard motherboard, and consists of a chip and keys that encrypt and decrypt files on the fly. In order to access the documents, client-side software prompts the user for a password. Once authenticated, the user can send files or store them onto the computer's hard drive. Files cannot be accessed while in an encrypted state.

In order to ensure sensitive data cannot be accessed after it is saved, the client software uses a wiping tool to ensure all traces of the file are deleted from the hard drive and data is not sent to the recycle bin.

Mark Atkinson, technical marketing manager at Intel, told ZDNet UK that the TPM will add around $5 (£2.96) to the cost of a motherboard and is designed for both small businesses and corporate users.

The TPM has the ability to store passwords and other personal keys in a manner that is far more secure than is possible with Windows XP, Intel argues. Atkinson said: "All this information is kept in the TPM so it is unfeasible to decrypt it. In Windows XP, passwords are stored in the registry and can easily be accessed and read."

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