IBM has presented an embedded security processor that is said to provide effective protection against macro viruses. The newly developed chip can generate encryption and read digital signatures. It is installed as standard on the motherboard of the PC 300 PL, but can also be built into other systems such as notebooks.
According to IBM, the chip is primarily used to encrypt data in e-commerce, for example when transferring credit card numbers. The customer can decide for himself “whether he wants to activate the chip or not,” said IBM manager Anne Gardner. She sees the advantage of the solution in the fact that hardware encryption systems are generally more difficult to crack than cryptography software.
Evenoffers a hardware solution to the security problem. The Intel chip works on the basis of a random generator. The generator translates the thermal noise of a resistor, which is generated by a processor, into a pattern of random numbers. These numbers should be suitable for encryption and digital signatures.
The company could not say when the 300PL will appear in Germany.