Microsoft Announces A New Security Chip for Windows 10: Pluton

Microsoft has announced a new secured chip processor for all future Windows PCs, called Pluton secured processor. The idea behind developing this chip, is to create a combat system for the hardware components, much in advance. According to the Redmond based tech giant, Windows 10 is so far their most secured operating system. Windows 10 operating system is equipped with an in-built state-of-the-art antivirus Windows Defender, end-to-end security from cloud to hardware. Then, there is provision of biometric authentication and facial recognition, such as, Windows Hello and other advanced systems like System Guard, Application control for Windows, etc.

Due to this tight security, it is becoming difficult for hackers to penetrate through the systems. But there is one way out, which might be the next target for hackers. It is the bridge between the hardware and software platform. To fill up the gap, Microsoft is developing an advanced security processor. Thus, Microsoft is collaborating with AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., in developing the Microsoft Pluton security processor. The chip-to-cloud security technology has been deployed already in Xbox and Microsoft Azure Sphere.

Presently, for most advanced computers, the backbone of the security system is incorporated in a chip, placed out the central processing unit. This is called the Trusted Platform Module (TPM). The TPM stores the keys and measurements, required for the integrity of the system. As Microsoft says, “Given the effectiveness of the TPM at performing critical security tasks, attackers have begun to innovate ways to attack it, particularly in situations where an attacker can steal or temporarily gain physical access to a PC. These sophisticated attack techniques target the communication channel between the CPU and TPM, which is typically a bus interface. This bus interface provides the ability to share information between the main CPU and security processor, but it also provides an opportunity for attackers to steal or modify information in-transit using a physical attack.

Pluton security processors diminishes any communication path, that might be used by sophisticated and expert hackers to attack the CPU directly. Windows 10 PCs will be applying the Pluton architecture to emulate a TPM. The TPM works with the latest TPM specs and APIs.

Microsoft concluded in its blog post, “The Pluton security processor complements work Microsoft has done with the community, including Project Cerberus, by providing a secure identity for the CPU that can be attested by Cerberus, thus enhancing the security of the overall platform.”


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