The Next Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB) is a part of the Microsoft Vista operating system (OS) that employs a trusted platform module (TPM), a specialized chip that can be installed on the motherboard of a personal computer (PC) or server for the purpose of hardware authentication. The TPM stores information specific to the host system, such as encryption keys, digital certificates and passwords.
The development-phase version of NGSCB was originally called Palladium. Palladium was conceived jointly by Intel, AMD and Microsoft with the intent of building increased security into PCs and servers at the microprocessor level. That name was changed when some aspects of the effort became controversial because of fears (which Microsoft claims were unwarranted) that Palladium could evolve into a method of preventing PC users from running software not approved by Microsoft.
The NGSCB aims to protect computer users by reducing spam to minimize the risk that unauthorized programs will be executed and by encrypting data so it cannot be read or altered by anyone other than the authorized user. NGSCB, like Palladium, relies on hardware developed by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), a not-for-profit organization formed in 2003 to define, develop and promote security specifications for computers and networks.
NGSCB will give PC users and network administrators enhanced control over their systems by means of features that:
- Prevent use of a computer by unauthorized persons
- Filter out spam before it can be read by the OS
- Screen e-mail by whitelisting or blacklisting
- Provide for limited-life or self-destructing e-mail if desired
- Use encryption to minimize data interception by keyloggers and other spyware programs
- Encrypt data sent to the display to minimize the risk of screen captures by external entities.
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