Microsoft’s ‘Pluton’ chip to enhance security in future Windows PCs

The company is collaborating with leading chip manufactures like AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm to bring the Pluton security processor to Windows PCs.

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Microsoft on Tuesday announced its Pluton chip, designed to improve security in future Windows-based computers by plugging some of the critical security issues that make the systems vulnerable to attacks.

The company is collaborating with leading chip manufactures like AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm to bring the Pluton security processor to Windows PCs.

“Our vision for the future of Windows PCs is security at the very core, built into the CPU, where hardware and software are tightly integrated in a unified approach designed to eliminate entire vectors of attack,” David Weston, Director of Enterprise and OS Security at Microsoft, said in a blog post.

Most computers have a separate chip called Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which is responsible for securely storing encrypted keys that verify the integrity of a system. TPM communicates with the central processing unit (CPU) to share information, and these channels are targeted by attackers to steal or modify information.

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The Pluton security processor will be built directly into the CPUs, and so it will protect user credentials, identities, encryption keys, and personal data, even if an attacker is in physical possession of the PC, the software giant noted.

Microsoft said it will offer the security by storing sensitive data like encryption keys securely within the Pluton processor, which is isolated from the rest of the system.

In addition, Pluton’s Secure Hardware Cryptography Key (SHACK) technology helps ensure keys are never exposed outside of the protected hardware, including the Pluton firmware itself.

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The security processor will also address a major issue of keeping the system firmware up to date through a updates platform for running firmware.

The tech giant said it introduced the Pluton design technology in the Xbox One console released in 2013 in partnership with AMD, and also within Azure Sphere. Now, the company plans to take what it learned to bring more security innovation to the future of Windows PCs.

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