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HP, Wave tout hardware-based e-security system

Cheaply takes security provision from server to clients

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Hewlett-Packard and Wave Systems are touting a new chip-based 'trusted client' system as a cheap and effective method for ensuring secure PC-based internet and e-commerce transactions. The two companies have been collaborating on the new systems over the past six months, integrating HP's VerSecure security management framework and Wave Systems' e-commerce architecture, the Embedded Application Security System, Embassy. Security features include storage of electronic identities, digital signatures and security-protected applications, enabling a variety of payment methods, including rent, rent-to-own or pay-per-event. The technology is being integrated on motherboard chips from component suppliers like Standard Microsystems Corp and ITE, and HP said it will be included in its Vectra PCs. NEC's Computer Systems Division has committed to Embassy, undertaking to integrate it in a number of new systems being launched throughout 1999. Amod Patwardhan, NEC's director of product strategy and integration, described the technology as a "silver bullet". He said: "It enables a virtually no-maintenance security and content metering platform embedded within the client." The idea is that instead of implementing security at the centralised server, Embassy can be incorporated in any number of desktop and handheld devices by creating a system within a system, integrating the user's hardware with the combination of Embassy and Versecure. Implementing the system on motherboard chips Steven Sprague, president of Wave Systems, said: "Over the past six months we have expanded our transaction and security architecture [by] architecting a low cost chip set solution with multiple suppliers and gained support from key partners in security, smart card and content markets." Apart from HP and Wave Systems, the list of partners includes companies like Aladdin Knowledge Systems, specialists in software execution and data protection; RSA Data Security and its cryptographic and security protocol components; Sun Microsystems with the Java Card application framework; and Verisign with its digital certificates. GlobalWave is a jointly owned subsidiary between Wave Systems and The Internet Technology Group (ITG), the UK's largest independent ISP. ITG chief executive, Laurence Blackall, said that the HP-Wave Systems' initiative: "Is tremendous news for GlobalWave [since] media groups, broadcasters, PC and set-top manufacturers have been waiting a long time for this announcement." ® Click for more stories

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