News Column

Patent Issued for Network Based Management of Protected Data Sets

July 29, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- A patent by the inventors Novak, Mark F. (Newcastle, WA); Layman, Andrew John (Bellevue, WA); Nystrom, Magnus (Sammamish, WA); Thom, Stefan (Snohomish, WA), filed on June 19, 2012, was published online on July 15, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8782423 is assigned to Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, WA).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Trusted Platform Modules (or 'TPMs') are trusted execution environments that are isolated from the regular operating environment of computing devices. Typically, TPMs are implemented in the form of a chip that is physically bound to a computing device. The regular computing environment may communicate with the TPM through an interface, an example of which being TPM Based Services (or 'TBS').

"TPMs provide a range of functions, most commonly used of which are cryptographic key generation, policy-driven key use, sealed storage, and attestation. TPMs have a region of memory called a 'protected area' that contains data that cannot be read, but nevertheless operations may be performed using and/or on such data. Some of the data is immutable and thus is read (but not changed) by the operation that is being performed, and some of the data is mutable and can be changed through such operations. Note that it is the operation that is being performed internal to the TPM that is reading the data. The protected data is not readable outside the TPM.

"Thus, the TPM has an operational component that performs operations, and a memory component which retains protected data that cannot be read outside of the TPM. The operational speed of the TPM is limited to the capabilities of the hardware within the TPM. Also, the size of the protected area is limited to the space within the TPM."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "At least one embodiment described herein relates to a system that includes an account management module configured to maintain protected accounts. For instance, a particular protected account includes a protected data set that is not accessible from outside of the system, and perhaps not even accessible from outside of the account. The particular data set corresponds to a particular entity (e.g., a device, system, user, component, or combination thereof) assigned to the particular account and includes keys corresponding to the particular device. A security processor uses at least some of the keys to perform cryptographic and security processes in response to one or more trusted execution environment commands received from the particular entity. In some embodiments, there may be multiple data sets for different entities belonging to the same account.

"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 as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Novak, Mark F.; Layman, Andrew John; Nystrom, Magnus; Thom, Stefan. Network Based Management of Protected Data Sets. U.S. Patent Number 8782423, filed June 19, 2012, and published online on July 15, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Cryptography, Microsoft Corporation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly

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