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Intel and Symantec team up on 'bare metal' security

Virtualisation tech pushes security functions onto chips

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Symantec and Intel have teamed up to develop security technologies that operate underneath an operating system.

Project Hood uses virtualisation technology developed by Intel to run security "appliances" directly on chips. The technology would allow security functions to operate below the level of Windows or other operating systems that a system is running.

"It runs underneath and alongside the operating system," Symantec vice president Rowan Trollope explained to Reuters.

The technology is initially targeted at the enterprise market, with both servers and desktop PCs in the frame. Modifying the technology for use on consumer PCs may come later.

Pushing security technology down onto the bare metal of chips is a wider industry trend. For example, Intel plans to incorporate Trusted Platform Module capabilities, which already ships as separate modules in some of its laptops, into its chipsets next year.

Project Hood is still at an early stage of development, so what functions might be delivered or how these might sit beside other efforts to make computers more secure is far from cut and dried. ®

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