Patent number 8554686 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to the field of information processing systems. In one aspect, the present invention relates to a system and method for ensuring a secure computing environment for computer systems used to communicate over the Internet.
"Computer systems have attained widespread use for providing information management capability to many segments of today's society. A personal computer system can usually be defined as a microcomputer that includes a system unit having a system processor and associated volatile and non-volatile memory, a display monitor, a keyboard, a fixed disk storage device, an optional removable storage device and an optional printer. These personal computer systems are information processing systems which are designed primarily to give independent computing power to a single user (or a group of users in the case of personal computers which serve as computer server systems) and are inexpensively priced for purchase by individuals or small businesses.
"In recent years, there has been significant growth in the use of the personal computers to exchange information over the Internet. This exchange of information is based on a client/server model with the user's personal computer operating as the client to access data stored on a plurality of Internet servers. Some Internet service providers provide a computer to a user as part of a contractual relationship to provide Internet service. As part of the relationship, the Internet service provider may occasionally need to provide software packages to the computer relating to software upgrades and software that provides additional services. In addition, users may also attempt to download computer programs from the Internet or to install programs locally from sources that may not be secure.
"Consequently, there is a need for a safeguard process that prevents users from installing unauthorized software that may adversely affect the operation of the computer and/or interfere with authorized software provided by the Internet service provider. In addition, a significant need exists for preserving the integrity of the operating system and the applications stored on computers, such as those used as personal Internet communicators (PICs) over a communication network provided by an Internet service provider. Further limitations and disadvantages of conventional systems will become apparent to one of skill in the art after reviewing the remainder of the present application with reference to the drawings and detailed description which follow."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The method and apparatus of the present invention provides a reliable and secure computing environment for a personal Internet communicator. In one embodiment, the present invention can be used to restrict the installation of operating system and/or software code on the personal Internet communicator by storing a key in the non-volatile storage of the personal Internet communicator, such as the master boot record, and requiring any bootable device to have a matching signature or key in order to be eligible to have operating system files or application files written.
"The objects, advantages and other novel features of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the appended claims and accompanying drawings."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Paul, Stephen; Goodrich, Steven. Anti-Hack Protection to Restrict Installation of Operating Systems and
Keywords for this news article include: Software,
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