Tuesday, May 15, 2007

TiVo Awarded Patent For Password You Can't Hack

United States Patent 7,216,235
Platt May 8, 2007

Drive/host locking system

An authentication system for securing information within a disk drive to be read and written to only by a specific host computer such that it is difficult or impossible to access the drive by any system other than a designated host is disclosed. While the invention is similar in intent to a password scheme, it significantly more secure. The invention thus provides a secure environment for important information stored within a disk drive. The information can only be accessed by a host if the host can respond to random challenges asked by the disk drive. The host's responses are generated using a cryptography chip processing a specific algorithm. This technique allows the disk drive and the host to communicate using a coded security system where attempts to break the code and choose the correct password take longer to learn than the useful life of the disk drive itself.