The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Several mechanisms exist to verify that a computer system or system user can be trusted with sensitive information or data that a user desires to keep confidential. Computers running on a network are often used to perform sensitive tasks such as transferring money between users, accessing confidential information stored elsewhere, communicating with selected other users, and other actions where a user may desire to keep certain details confidential. Mechanisms used to verify whether a particular user can be trusted to perform an action include passwords, tokens, fingerprints, and the like. Mechanisms used to verify whether a system can to be trusted, or the degree to which it can be trusted, include certificates, Trusted Platform Module, and the like.
"Despite these security measures, computer systems are still vulnerable to hackers and cyber thieves. For example, a cyber-thief or other imposter can install malicious programs, or malware, on an unsuspecting system, such as a keylogger, Trojan, proxy, or other malware that can compromise the security of the login or a transaction after login. Malware can be launched and controlled from a remote computer and can be nearly undetectable to an unsuspecting user without special software. In such cases, secure accounts or services become vulnerable to malicious programs that can exploit old or insecure program interfaces or otherwise compromise a computing device. Security programs such as antivirus software can detect and remove malicious programs if the security programs are kept up to date and regularly used."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.
"Many examples exist where a user may want to securely access or manipulate sensitive information on a service over a computer network such as performing online banking transactions, adding to medical records in a hospital, or editing personal profile on a social media site. The user is often asked to log in to the service, which is an example of how the service attempts to verify that the user can be trusted to perform actions with the service account. Additionally, systems such as certificates can be used to verify whether a particular machine is considered trustworthy such as whether the machine is a corporate asset. Difficulties arise, however, in determining whether an apparent trusted user on a trusted machine can create a security vulnerability from running insecure or exploited software interfaces or otherwise compromised computing device.
"This disclosure is directed to a process to evaluate a request to access a service, such as an attempt to interface with the service, received from a user having a software stack on a computing device coupled together on a network with a software stack provider. The software stack can include a security program or an antivirus program to protect the user from malicious code. When the user requests access to the service, a determination is made as to whether the software stack on the user's computing device claims to meet a set of conditions set by the service. The set of conditions can include having a particular software stack, having a recent virus definition update to the software stack, having performed a virus scan with an elected virus definition. If the computing device claims to meet the set of conditions, the software stack delivers verification information to permit the software stack provider to validate the claim. The service allows access and can be used if the software stack provider validates that the set of conditions are met.
"In one example, the service can validate a particular software stack prior to accessing or using sensitive information in the service such to determine whether a securities trader is using a valid program when placing a trade, whether a medical professional is using a correct software interface software for medical records services, or the like, which are examples of attempts to access the service. In response to a request to use the service, the service may send tags with a set of conditions for the software stack prior to allowing use of the service. In response to the tags, the software stack can send a confirmation request to the software stack provider. The software stack provider can validate the software stack by passing approval tokens to the requesting service to confirm the software stack meets the set of conditions.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of embodiments and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate embodiments and together with the description serve to explain principles of embodiments. Other embodiments and many of the intended advantages of embodiments will be readily appreciated, as they become better understood by reference to the following detailed description. The elements of the drawings are not necessarily to scale relative to each other. Like reference numerals designate corresponding similar parts.
"FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating an example of a computing device.
"FIG. 2 is a schematic drawing illustrating a network including computing devices of FIG. 1.
"FIG. 3 is a flow diagram illustrating an example process used on the network of FIG. 2 to evaluate a request from a computing device on the network to access a service on the network.
"FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram illustrating an example implementation of the process of FIG. 3 on the network of FIG. 2."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Harris, Timothy E.; Cath, Jeremy E. Evaluating a Security Stack in Repsonse to a Request to Access a Service. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Viruses, Software, Virology,
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