Trusted Computing and the Enterprise Software Ecosystem: Part 4 (of 7)

Part 4: Intel® TXT

So where does Intel fit into the picture?

Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT)[8] is Intel's flagship technology for making possible the implementation of the trusted computing vision described above. TXT, as a collection of technologies, is quite complex, but a summarizing list of features is as follows9:

• Processor extensions to the IA-32 architecture supporting the creation of protected memory partitions, special event handling, management of a protected execution environment, and security enhancements to the software stack.
• Chipset extensions to enforce memory protection policies, protect channels to graphics and I/O devices, and to make available a TPM interface.
• Enhancements to secure keyboard and mouse communication, protect the graphics subsystem from being snooped by software agents running on the system, and TPM-based mechanisms for "sealing" keys and responding to platform attestation requests.

What Intel® TXT provides, in summary, is a set of mechanisms that handle hardware environment issues in a way that allows a trusted boot implementation to proceed in a secure way.

References:
[8] Intel® Trusted Execution Technology, http://www.intel.com/technology/security.

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