Embedded Security Subsystem
TC - Trusted Computing - will be the biggest change of the information landscape since decades. Besides positive features like a more secure hardware storage for cryptographic keys, an analysis of the proposed standards shows some problematic properties. One of the main problems is that the computer owner is seen as an adversary, who no longer should have the full control over their own computers anymore. As Thinkpads of recent generations following the Thinkpad T23 (except the A30) are equipped with this disputed technology, you have to be aware of the promise and risks inside your ThinkPad - so please read this article about an important topic.
Two linux drivers are available, a classical one and a newer one. Coverage of functionality of the first is unknown so far, the second is part of a bigger project aiming to provide a usable security framework.
David Stafford (one of the developers of the tpm code at IBM) on March 10, 2005 sent me the most recent version of the tpm-kml code. With his permission, I quote his email:
"I am attaching our latest driver and library. This version is in the process of kernel mailing list review, and will hopefully be accepted into the official kernel. It works much better across various 2.6 kernels. Note that this builds three modules tpm, tpm_atmel, and tpm_nsc. You modprobe the tpm_atmel (for all current shipping atmel based systems), or tpm_nsc (for the coming national based systems).
Also note that there is a conflict with the snd-intel8x0 kernel module (they each try to grab the LPC bus). You can either: load the tpm modules first (such as in initrd or rc.sysinit, before sound), or recompile the snd-intel8x0, turning off the MIDI and JOYSTICK support. The latest 2.6.11 version of snd-intel8x0 also reportedly fixes things."
Compiling this library was easy. Compiling the driver on my 2.6.8-686 (debian testing) laptop failed. But the library works with the driver I compiled from the tpm-2.0 package IBM made available on its pages (see the links below).
- IBMs ThinkVantageTM Technologies Embedded Security Subsystem page
- IBMs ThinkVantageTM Technologies Flash presentation - Embedded Security Subsystem
- IBM Research TCPA resources page
- Trusted Grub
Models featuring this Technology
IBM Embedded Security Subsystem
IBM Embedded Security Subsystem 2.0