Towards Securing Pocket Hard Drives and Portable Personalities

Inexpensive portable storage devices that are available in the market today have made it easier for users to carry data and programs with them and borrow computing platforms when needed. While this model of computing is very attractive, it is promiscuous and thus protection is needed both for the borrower and owner of the computing platform. In this paper, we focus on a subset of this computing model, called portable storage based personalizationwhere the user boots the borrowed PC from her portable storage device, i.e. pocket hard drive. We analyze the security implications of this model and present a scheme to protect the pocket hard drive from the untrusted platform. The protection scheme includes running tests stored on the pocket hard drive to assess the integrity of the borrowed platform and ensuring that these tests actually get executed untampered.

By: Nishkam Ravi; Chandra Narayanaswami; Mandayam Raghunath; Marcel Rosu

Published in: RC24267 in 2007


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