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August 7, 2002

Internet security: Factotum from Bell Labs

The NYT has a little tease on a security paper being presented at the 2002 USENIX Security conference starting today:

A group of Bell Labs computer researchers will describe new network security software on Wednesday intended to protect personal digital information and increase security when connecting to remote computers and Web sites.

The technology, designed for individual and corporate use, is significant because it does not require the centralized structure now necessary with many existing software security systems. Moreover, it could become a widely used and free alternative to similar software that is being developed by companies like Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.

The two programs, Factotum and Secure Store, will be described in a technical paper to be given by the researchers at the Usenix computer security conference scheduled to begin on Wednesday in San Francisco.

The researchers said they had solved the problem of storing a diverse collection of personal information — like user names, passwords and digital network credentials — used to identify computer users to online merchants and other electronic services.

The NYT didn't mention the names of the researchers, but by looking at the program, I think I've found a link to paper they're presenting: Security in Plan 9 Russ Cox et.al.