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Windows 7: TPM Module Chips?

17 Jul 2010   #1
BomberAF

Windows 7
 
 
TPM Module Chips?

I have just been looking at mobo's and in particular mobo's that have TPM module chips. The thing is though they say on the over view of the mobo's that the TPM module chips must be purchased separately, where do you buy them and what exactly are they then? I thought that it was just a chip built in to the mobo just like the BIOS or the chipset chips are, but apparently not. Also if these modules can be removed how does it make your PC more secure if the chip can just be removed?


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17 Jul 2010   #2
Adrian

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BomberAF View Post
I have just been looking at mobo's and in particular mobo's that have TPM module chips. The thing is though they say on the over view of the mobo's that the TPM module chips must be purchased separately, where do you buy them and what exactly are they then? I thought that it was just a chip built in to the mobo just like the BIOS or the chipset chips are, but apparently not. Also if these modules can be removed how does it make your PC more secure if the chip can just be removed?
Quoting from WIKIPEDIA

Trusted Platform Module offers facilities for the secure generation of cryptographickeys, and limitation of their use, in addition to a hardware pseudo-random number generator. It also includes capabilities such as remote attestation and sealed storage. "Remote attestation" creates a nearly unforgeable hash key summary of the hardware and software configuration. The extent of the summary of the software is decided by the program encrypting the data. This allows a third party to verify that the software has not been changed. "Binding" encrypts data using the TPM endorsement key, a unique RSA key burned into the chip during its production, or another trusted key descended from it.[3] "Sealing" encrypts data similar to binding, but in addition specifies a state in which the TPM must be in order for the data to be decrypted (unsealed).[4]
A Trusted Platform Module can be used to authenticate hardware devices. Since each TPM chip has a unique and secret RSA key burned in as it is produced, it is capable of performing platform authentication. For example, it can be used to verify that a system seeking access is the expected system.
Generally, pushing the security down to the hardware level in conjunction with software provides more protection than a software-only solution that is more easily compromised by an attacker. However even where a TPM is used, a key is still vulnerable while a software application that has obtained it from the TPM is using it to perform encryption/decryption operations, as has been illustrated in the case of a cold boot attack.
Other uses and concerns
Almost any encryption-enabled application can in theory make use of a TPM, including:These potential other uses have given rise to privacy concerns. The "physical presence" feature of the TPM addresses some of these concerns by requiring that a human sitting at the computer authorizes changes to the configuration of the TPM, so that these changes cannot be performed silently and unnoticed by software.[5] Human confirmation is mandatory for operations such as activating, deactivating, clearing or changing ownership of the TPM.[6][5] Future operating systems are expected to have increased TPM support for additional cryptographic features.
The TPM was sardonically dubbed the "Fritz chip" by Professor Ross Anderson, Security Engineering Professor at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, in reference to the former United States Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, who according to Anderson "worked tirelessly in Congress to make TC a mandatory part of all consumer electronics."

To puchase TPM: Buy Tpm Chip - Compare Prices, Reviews and Buy at NexTag - Price - Review
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17 Jul 2010   #3
BomberAF

Windows 7
 
 

That link doesn't explain much, look here and read down the oeverview of this mobo:

ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

Also do you think this is a decent mobo, I don't want it for gaming but I want it for an extremely good home office PC, hence the TPM chip. But I am also going to university to do a combined honours degree in Mathmatical Physics (theoretical physics) and Chemistry, so a PC that will be powerfull enough and future proof enough to do programing and whatever other demanding tasks will be required of it.

I think that it is right up my street, but as I have never built one from scratch just upgraded others I am a bit of a noobie.
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17 Jul 2010   #4
BomberAF

Windows 7
 
 

Just noticed that it is a separate chip that costs about 50 and must be installed onto the mobo.

Is it secure in so much as the password you type is then encrypted by the chip, so that even if the chip was stolen you would not be able to crack the password?
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17 Jul 2010   #5
Adrian

 

Bomber, the gist of the wiki article is that TPM chips provide a hardware method of encryptic data. IE: Hardware configs, data configs. The chips basically allow you to encrypt your data using a password system through the hardware. Also, I'm familiar with ASUS boards because of custom build experience and they are my mobo of choice. Although you bring to our attention a hi end mobo from Asus which is designed for more hi end grafix, sli etc.
I would put to you this question: For what purpose have you started this thread?
You asked for info and where to purchase TPM chips which is what I explained in my post.
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17 Jul 2010   #6
Adrian

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BomberAF View Post
but I want it for an extremely good home office PC, hence the TPM chip. But I am also going to university to do a combined honours degree in Mathmatical Physics (theoretical physics) and Chemistry, so a PC that will be powerfull enough and future proof enough to do programing and whatever other demanding tasks will be required of it.
upgraded others I am a bit of a noobie.
So you want to build a system!
Ok then, forget the tpm chips because you can use software data encryption using windows 7 bitlocker. A souped up mobo isn't really cost effective unless you are going to conduct extensive video/grafix, building and maintaining massive db's or massive spread sheets! So unless you are going to use high end proprietary software from your school and will be conducting most of your math/physics using standard/spreadsheets or databases consider a quad core processor. Excel provides massive flexibility if you are accustomed to creating data/pivot tables that can be easily imported, also excel is extremely capable of algorithmic arithmetic.

So as a builder I would suggest the following:
  • Power, consider a higher end power supply in which you can expand your custom build, 550-650 watts are more than ample to expand upon, cost is around $80- $120 US
  • Processor, since I like the ease and flexibility of Asus my processors of choice are AMD Phenom's "Black Box" more processor speed for the dollar. 2.5-3.5 ghz speed.
  • Mobo's are your choice, but remember that it is a bus, so what you put on it has to accompany the passengers. Also remeber bus speeds are important for your calculations.
  • Last is storage. Go big as hard drive prices have come way down so I would suggest a terabyte, your choice of brands.
As far as the tpm issue why bother!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jul 2010   #7
BomberAF

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BomberAF View Post
but I want it for an extremely good home office PC, hence the TPM chip. But I am also going to university to do a combined honours degree in Mathmatical Physics (theoretical physics) and Chemistry, so a PC that will be powerfull enough and future proof enough to do programing and whatever other demanding tasks will be required of it.
upgraded others I am a bit of a noobie.
So you want to build a system!
Ok then, forget the tpm chips because you can use software data encryption using windows 7 bitlocker. A souped up mobo isn't really cost effective unless you are going to conduct extensive video/grafix, building and maintaining massive db's or massive spread sheets! So unless you are going to from your school and will be conducting most of your math/physics using standard/spreadsheets or databases consider a quad core processor. Excel provides massive flexibility if you are accustomed to creating data/pivot tables that can be easily imported, also excel is extremely capable of algorithmic arithmetic.





So as a builder I would suggest the following:
  • Power, consider a higher end power supply in which you can expand your custom build, 550-650 watts are more than ample to expand upon, cost is around $80- $120 US
  • Processor, since I like the ease and flexibility of Asus my processors of choice are AMD Phenom's "Black Box" more processor speed for the dollar. 2.5-3.5 ghz speed.
  • Mobo's are your choice, but remember that it is a bus, so what you put on it has to accompany the passengers. Also remeber bus speeds are important for your calculations.
  • Last is storage. Go big as hard drive prices have come way down so I would suggest a terabyte, your choice of brands.
As far as the tpm issue why bother!

The reason for the TPM is for security, I currently encrypt my other drives using bit locker but I can't encrypt the C:drive as my mobo doesn't have a TPM chip. I think the TPM chip is just a handy way of encrypting data.

And the reason I was talking about a high end mobo is because I am also going to be doing a Phd, and then after that I will be doing a post doctorate. I will also be learning to program as well and like i said I want a mobo that will enable to perform what ever tasks that will be required doing mathemaitcal physics, and I will be using the use high end proprietary software for my research, thats why I presumed that I will need a powerfull PC when the time comes to perform the calculations, and I would be using spread sheets and data bases for the storage and recording of data.

As for HDD's I was thinking about 3 1TB HDD's, 1 for the OS and 2 for back up.

If you still think that this mobo is over kill then fair play, but I thought it may be a smart move so that it will secure me from having to buy another mobo in the future.

I would also like to add that I am not starting university until next year.

And on another note I would like to apologise for going of topic as well.
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 TPM Module Chips?




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