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TCG Unveils Mobile Phone Spec

LOS ANGELES -- The Trusted Computing Group’s Mobile Phone Work Group, which has been working to create an industry-wide approach to securing data, transactions and content, for mobile phones, today announced a draft Mobile Trusted Module specification. This open and available specification will enable the development of stronger security, enhanced privacy and reduced risk of loss and theft for mobile phone users and providers of handsets and services.

“Attacks on mobile phones, including viruses, spyware and spam, and the loss of personal and financial information or the handset itself, clearly will increase as phones increasingly become repositories of critical information and transactions for users,” noted Iain Gillot, president and founder of iGR (formerly iGillot Research). “By working together and establishing standards, the mobile industry can move more quickly and efficiently to embed security mechanisms into phones. More security at the platform level can only help the industry continue to offer the services, handset features and content that users want.”

Mobile Trusted Module Specification

The Mobile Trusted Module (MTM) Specification assumes the implementation of a mobile phone as a set of trusted engines, or places that manipulate data, within the device. Each engine can be trusted to report accurately its state so its trustworthiness can be established. The specification envisions that phones will include multiple trusted engines, each addressing specific functions including the device, cellular service, applications and user services.

Each engine will have access to Trusted Services, which measures code modules and stores measurements in the Mobile Trusted Module, a protected area of the phone. The MTM can be implemented in a number of ways, since the TCG specification defines functionality but not implementation. For example, the MTM could take the form of a discrete silicon chip or a system-on-a-chip implementation. The form factor will be determined by vendors and their customers.

Trusted Computing Group