The current state of computer security is awful, but there are a number of reasons to expect it will soon improve. This talk will cover two technologies: the trusted platform module (TPM) chip, and the "fuzzy vault." The TPM chip is already found on some motherboards. We discuss the ways that this chip can be used to improve host security. The "fuzzy vault" is an application of coding theory to the problem of storing your biometric data in an "encrypted" form, analogous to the way a password is stored in hashed form rather than in cleartext. (The problem differs from the password problem in that every biometric reading is different from the last.) Both of these technologies are relatively new, and have the potential to improve computer security.
Steven A. Borbash is the Technical Director of Information Assurance Engineering Research at the National Security Agency. He has been involved in a variety of computing and security projects for the U.S. Department of Defense since 1989. He received a BS in Physics from the University of Toronto in 1987, an MS in Applied Mathematics from the Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County in 1994, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2004, where his advisor was Anthony Ephremides.