Palladium Echoes in New Handheld Security Spec

A specification to create a "trusted mobile platform," released by Intel, IBM and NTT DoCoMo, appears to take the foundation of Microsoft's own trust initiative, "Palladium," into the mobile space.

Intel, IBM and NTT DoCoMo have released a specification to create a "trusted mobile platform," which appears to take the foundation of Microsofts own trust initiative, "Palladium," into the mobile space.

The three companies placed the Trusted Mobile Platform specification on the Internet for public review. An executive at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel said the company hopes to have TMP products on the market by 2005, although the timing will be heavily dependent on OEM participation.

The problem is that, as of now, the TMP group does not include a participating handset OEM, an operating-system manufacturer, a radio-component manufacturer, an application provider or a manufacturer of the trusted platform module (TPM) components that will be used to secure the platform.

The lack of these elements led one analyst to state that the triumvirate will need many more players to achieve the critical mass it will need to move forward. But things move quickly in the mobile space, other analysts said, and even an aggressive 2005 launch date might not be out of reach.

The goal is to provide a means of "trust" inside a mobile platform, similar to the "Palladium" initiative Microsoft Corp. began floating in 2002 and later referred to as the Next Generation Secure Computing Base.

NGSCB is supposed to be a feature of Longhorn, Microsofts next-generation OS. In May, Microsoft said it would tweak the Palladium architecture to make it simpler for developers to produce compatible applications.

Like Palladium, the TMP initiative is designed to secure mobile commerce and protect the system from viruses and/or worms designed to modify the internal code.

Intels contributions are as a chip provider, while DoCoMo contributed the "key usage scenarios" that guided the research into creating the specification, said Jeff Krisa, director of marketing for Intels cellular handheld group.

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