In Networks We Trust

European researchers are proposing a paradigm-shifting solution to trusted computing that offers better security and authentication with none of the drawbacks that exist in the current state of the art.

Trusted computing (TC) is a hot topic in computer science. Major software and hardware providers are planning to include TC components in the next generation of computers, and the US army and the US Department of Defence reportedly require trusted platform modules on all their computers.

Trusted computing is a system comprising hardware and software modules that ensures that the software running on a computer has not been altered or maliciously modified after its initial installation, thus ensuring compliance with the original intended functionality. It is a way of enhancing security, preventing viruses and other malicious code, or malware, and protecting intellectual property.

For example, a TC system can verify that a malicious user has not altered the program of the music player on his computer in such a way as to ignore or bypass the checks on the permissions and restrictions of the songs being played. Current systems work but are heavily dependent on hardware which limits their usefulness. A big problem facing computer science now is how to ensure a trusted computing environment on a remote, untrusted, machine. Continue reading.

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