The assignee for this patent, patent number 8635685, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Mobile electronic devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and digital cellular telephones are increasingly used for electronic commerce (e-commerce) and mobile commerce (m-commerce). It is desired for the programs that execute on the mobile devices to implement the e-commerce and m-commerce functionality in a secure mode to reduce the likelihood of attacks by malicious programs and to protect sensitive data.
"For security reasons, most processors provide two levels of operating privilege: a lower level of privilege for user programs; and a higher level of privilege for use by the operating system. The higher level of privilege may or may not provide adequate security for m-commerce and e-commerce, however, given that this higher level relies on proper operation of operating systems with vulnerabilities that may be publicized. In order to address security concerns, some mobile equipment manufacturers implement a third level of privilege, or secure mode, that places less reliance on corruptible operating system programs, and more reliance on hardware-based monitoring and control of the secure mode. U.S. Patent Publication No. 2003/0140245, entitled 'Secure Mode for Processors Supporting MMU and Interrupts,' incorporated herein by reference, describes a hardware-monitored secure mode for processors. There exists a need for methods and related systems to eliminate the potential for malicious software to manipulate the system into entering a secure mode and executing non-secure instructions."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Disclosed herein are techniques for verifying the integrity of a secure mode (e.g., monitor mode) of a system. An illustrative embodiment includes a system comprising a first logic adapted to use qualifiers received from a component to determine which of a plurality of storages matches the qualifiers, the first logic generates a first signal indicative of a storage matching the qualifiers. The system also comprises a second logic coupled to the first logic and adapted to use a target address received from the component to determine which of the plurality of storages matches the target address, the second logic generates a second signal indicative of a storage matching the target address. Another logic is adapted to determine whether the storage associated with the first signal matches the storage associated with the second signal. The qualifiers indicate security mode attributes associated with the component.
"Another embodiment includes a method that comprises generating a first signal indicating which of a plurality of storages matches qualifiers received from a component, the qualifiers indicate security mode attributes associated with the component. The method includes generating a second signal indicating which of the plurality of storages matches a target address received from the component. The method also comprises determining whether the storage associated with the first signal matches the storage associated with the second signal.
"Yet another embodiment includes a system, comprising means for generating a first signal indicating which of a plurality of storages matches qualifiers received from a component, the qualifiers indicate security mode attributes associated with the component. The system includes means for generating a second signal indicating which of the plurality of storages matches a target address received from the component. The system also includes means for determining whether the storage associated with the first signal matches the storage associated with the second signal.
"Notation and Nomenclature
"Certain terms are used throughout the following description and claims to refer to particular system components. As one skilled in the art will appreciate, various companies may refer to a component by different names. This document does not intend to distinguish between components that differ in name but not function. In the following discussion and in the claims, the terms 'including' and 'comprising' are used in an open-ended fashion, and thus should be interpreted to mean 'including, but not limited to.' Also, the term 'couple' or 'couples' is intended to mean either an indirect or direct connection. Thus, if a first device couples to a second device, that connection may be through a direct connection, or through an indirect connection via other devices and connections."
For more information, see this patent: Conti, Gregory R.; Azema, Jerome. Value Generator Coupled to Firewall Programmable Qualifier Data Structure Logics. U.S. Patent Number 8635685, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology,
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