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Several Thinkpad security questions, TPM and fingerprint reader

Discussion in 'IBM Thinkpad' started by ivankrakov, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. ivankrakov

    ivankrakov Guest

    Does the fingerprint reader contain any persistent storage space?
    Where are recorded fingerprints stored? In the BIOS? In the TPM? On
    the harddrive? In the fingerprint reader itself?
    Does the CPU or does the fingerprint reader itself perform the
    computations to compare fingerprint scans against previously recorded
    scans?

    Lenovo's Thinkvantage help system says "If the Security Chip is
    removed or replaced, or a new one has been added, the computer will
    not start. You will hear 4 cycles of 4 beeps each, or you see error
    message 0176 or 0192."
    What do they mean by "the computer will not start"? Do they mean I
    might need to reset the BIOS settings to default values and wipe the
    hard drive and reinstall the OS, or do they mean literally the
    computer will not start, meaning that if the TPM is removed then the
    motherboard is effectively destroyed?

    According to http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-42321
    and http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/MIGR-46018.html these
    say that if the security chip is removed or replaced, the system board
    is killed and must be replaced! I thought the worst case scenario if
    the tpm chip fails was that I would lose all the data on my hard disk,
    and have to wipe the disk and reinstall the os and not be able to use
    the tpm system anymore. Why would the system board need to be replaced
    just because the tpm chip died or was removed?

    When I set the BIOS to require a password and/or a fingerprint to
    start the computer, is it using the TPM? How exactly? Computers have
    allowed power-on passwords for years without using TPM chips.

    When client security solution lets me use my fingerprint instead of my
    password to log on to Windows XP, how is it doing this? Does it use a
    special driver to replace the Windows XP password authentication
    system?

    When is Lenovo planning to release a fingerprint reader driver for
    Vista for the T60p?

    http://www-8.ibm.com/lenovoinfo/fingerprint/au/faq.html says "There
    are a number of known attacks against fingerprint readers. Some are
    rather intricate, such as building a fake finger out of something like
    ballistic gel or soft plastic. Currently, there are no known attacks
    against capacitive slide technology, which is what the ThinkPad
    Fingerprint Reader is based on."
    Is that true? Can it protect against a naturally oiled artificial
    overlay applied to a real finger?
     
    ivankrakov, Feb 4, 2007
    #1
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