IBM continues to try and reinvent itself. Having lost the PC war and selling its PC and server business, and with the reputation of its services arm suffering some massive issues such as being embroiled in Sweden’s massive data leak and issues like #censusfail locally, the company is focussing on building credibility in the security business. A new patent that uses the physical structure of circuit boards to protect cryptographic keys is another step in that direction.
The new patent uses circuitry on layers of a printed circuit board or other laminated structure to encode the cryptographic keys and codes. While embedding chips in resin has been effective in protecting hardware encryption, IBM is aiming to make life difficult for threat actors by making harder to tamper with systems during manufacture and overcoming problems such as distortion of circuit boards during manufacture.
The patent is listed at the US Patents Office as U.S. Patent 8,938,627: Multilayer securing structure and method thereof for the protection of cryptographic keys and code.