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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Microsoft Pluton Processor Offers Xbox-Like Security For Windows

Microsoft Pluton is the newest security processor that Windows is creating to protect future PCs. This security processor is going to be built completely inside the CPUs made for future PCs, and will likely substitute the TPM- Trusted Platform Module- one chip that is being currently used by Windows for securing the cryptographic and the hardware keys. The Microsoft Pluton has been based on the same principles that make up the Xbox consoles- with the parent company already working with AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm joining in the mix to bring it in for future CPUs. 

What is the New Microsoft Pluton?

This new Microsoft Pluton chip has been designed to block emerging and new attack vectors that have been used to conventionally attack PCs, which include the security flaws in CPUs like Meltdown and Spectre. Intel, back in 2018, revealed that it was trying to redesign its processors so that it could be more protective against attacks in the near future, and Microsoft Pluton is considered to be an even greater step towards protecting and securing both Windows PCs and CPUs in general. 

Microsoft Pluton
Microsoft Pluton
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Currently, the TPMs that exist away from CPUs have been used by attackers to steal data. Most of the time, attackers bring out newer methods that would allow them to steal all the information that keeps flowing between the open channels of TPM and CPU- usually when they can physically access a device. The idea is to make PCs as secure as Xbox One- there is no possibility of a pirated game working on the Xbox One. And this is something they want to implement in the future by placing the Pluton chip in the CPU.

Why is Microsoft Pluton so Important?

The Director of OS Security at Microsoft, David Weston spoke about how they had started shipping these Xboxes to people so that no one could just hack into them for games. And from that, they gleaned information on effective engineering strategies which they have decided to collaborate with Intel- so that they could create something similar for PCs. All so that modern-age PCs would be standing up to major attacking vectors. 

There are quite a large number of firms that sell 0-day vulnerabilities, or kits that would let attackers gain deeper access to machines- where they would be able to crack your PCs open. They find means to steal data that will be used to gain entry into company systems. 

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Microsoft Pluton, to be put simply, is just the evolved version of the TPM which is going to be inserted directly into the CPU. Weston believes this will create a TPM that is much better, stronger, faster, and more consistent. The main idea is to popularize and explore Microsoft Pluton to an extent where features like Windows Hello authentication and BitLocker encryption would be using Microsoft Pluton in the near future. 

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