Preliminary analysis of a trusted platform module (TPM) initialization process
Wiese, Brian K.
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As distributed system architectures such as peer-to-peer, grid computing and MANET become more popular, there is an increasing need for robust and scalable mechanisms to establish trust between entities. The Trusted Platform Module (TPM), provides for the possibility to establish trust at the hardware level for commercial hardware. While work has been done to leverage TPMs for Digital Rights Management (DRM) and other schemes, application of TPMs for robust identification and authentication in a MANET or other distributed environment have not been addressed. This research provides a simple analysis on the applicability of leveraging TPMs for enhanced computer security in today's military environment. A military convoy using laptops in a MANET is used as a hypothetical concept of operations. The problem of TPM initialization of a laptop, in particular, at a depot prior to deployment is addressed. The initialization steps that must be performed before using a TPM in any deployment have been studied and described, and suggestions are provided to address possible DoD concerns in using this technology.