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American Megatrends and Wave to Extend UEFI Support in Windows 8 for BIOS Malware DetectionEnsuring the Integrity of UEFI BIOS Components Is Key to Detecting a New Class of Malware (February 24, 2012)
NORCROSS, GA and LEE, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/24/12 -- American Megatrends Inc. (AMI), a leader in BIOS and computing innovations, and Wave Systems Corp. (NASDAQ: WAVX) (www.wave.com) are collaborating on the development of Windows 8-compatible solutions to assure that platforms remain free of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) -- sophisticated cyber-attacks that access and steal information from compromised computers. APTs involve malicious code that circumvents common safeguards such as anti-virus software and seek entry before the operating system loads.
Central to Windows 8 is the use of Aptio, AMI's solution for UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), which represents an overhaul of the computer boot environment, while still bearing similarities to the legacy BIOS (Basic Input Output System) it replaces. The UEFI specification introduces advanced firmware features defining boot and runtime protocols for communications between services and device drivers, and offers a standard interface to the operating system. Providing standardized access to boot data optionally stored on either NAND flash or on a hard drive, Aptio provides more space for boot-time diagnostics and running utilities. The result is dramatically faster boot-up times and better performance.
Windows 8 takes advantage of UEFI secure boot architecture to enhance the operating system's security capabilities. Secure boot allows only signed software to run on the device, adds cryptographic checks to each stage of the boot process and asserts the integrity of all the software images that are executed to prevent unauthorized, modified software from running. Wave solutions report on the execution of the secure boot and verify that anti-malware software has been launched before any third-party boot drivers to prevent malware from bypassing inspection.
Building a "chain of trust" requires the collaboration of multiple partners. AMI provides the first step in the trust chain by assuring that the BIOS components are registered and signed prior to the delivery of the platform. As the computer boots, each component reports its status to the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which securely records the status measurements. This provides a critical first step that sets the stage for a more trustworthy computing environment.
Wave constitutes the next link in the trust chain with solutions designed to assure that the integrity of the secure boot is reported and attested to the enterprise network or Cloud service. Wave Endpoint Monitor, currently deployed in beta testing, uses the TPM to report on the success of the secure boot and leverages the chip to prove that the process has executed correctly. Endpoint Monitor can then prove to a Cloud service or to an enterprise application that the PC has booted in a known, good state. If a platform is compromised, IT can determine which machine is infected, and take steps to prevent it from accessing sensitive systems to ensure that critical systems and data remain safe.
"Securing the computer from power on is critical to the defense of intellectual property and the corporate infrastructure," remarked S. Shankar, President and CEO of American Megatrends. "AMI is pleased to provide Microsoft with the foundation of security for Windows 8, and to work with Wave to extend security capabilities that wouldn't have been possible in a legacy environment."
Steven Sprague, Wave's CEO, commented, "AMI and PC manufacturers offer great assurance that the UEFI components are trusted when delivered to the customer. Wave provides IT with a greater level of knowledge and trust in the boot process and assurances that only known devices are on the network. Knowing the identity of the machine and assuring the health of its BIOS represent significant strides forward in combating advanced persistent threats."
AMI has spent the last year supporting the launch of Windows 8 by ensuring that AMI's Aptio UEFI firmware is in full compliance with the latest UEFI specification, UEFI 2.3.1. New features include pre-OS security, speed and secure boot. AMI is also working with PC OEMs, developers and partners such as Wave by providing UEFI development PCs for testing within a Windows 8 ecosystem. AMI has worked in partnership with Microsoft to develop this system in order to facilitate the rapid development of Windows 8 throughout the entire developer community. These new UEFI development PCs are powered by the latest version of Aptio® UEFI BIOS, version 184.108.40.206. Aptio 220.127.116.11 not only offers full support for Windows 8, but also adds support for the latest UEFI specifications, UEFI 2.3.1 and PI 1.2. This makes the latest features of the UEFI specification, such as Secure Boot, UEFI boot mode, fully localizable user interface and more, available to manufacturers in a production-ready UEFI BIOS. Notably, this development system will be the first PC on the market with full UEFI 2.3.1 support, allowing for a complete Windows 8 experience.
In preparation for Windows 8 availability, Wave is using some of the capabilities of the TPM to enable an enterprise infrastructure to support the features in Windows 8 that take advantage of UEFI capabilities. Enterprises stand to benefit from a tool that can detect rootkits, assure the core capabilities of a platform and establish very strong device identity -- capabilities that have been missing for the last 20 years and that are critical to establishing a more trustworthy computing environment.
Founded in 1985 and known worldwide for AMIBIOS®, American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) supplies state-of-the-art hardware, software, and utilities to today's high-tech manufacturers. AMI's innovative Aptio® solution for UEFI, modular AMIBIOS8, high quality StorTrends® IP Storage Area Networks (IP-SAN), Network Attached Storage (NAS), and Storage Management software solutions, along with MegaRAC® remote server management, KVM over IP, IPMI 2.0 firmware and high-density motherboards continue to garner industry acclaim and awards around the world. In line with the diversity of its technology and product line, AMI is a member of a number of industry associations and standards groups, such as the Unified EFI Forum (UEFI), the Intel® Embedded Alliance and the Trusted Computing Group (TCG). Headquartered in Atlanta, AMI has locations in the U.S., China, Germany, India, Japan, Korea and Taiwan to better serve its customers.
About Wave Systems
Wave Systems Corp. (NASDAQ: WAVX) reduces the complexity, cost and uncertainty of data protection by starting inside the device. Unlike other vendors who try to secure information by adding layers of software for security, Wave leverages the security capabilities built directly into endpoint computing platforms themselves. Wave has been a foremost expert on this growing trend, leading the way with first-to-market solutions and helping shape standards through its work as a board member for the Trusted Computing Group.
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This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), including all statements that are not statements of historical fact regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the company, its directors or its officers with respect to, among other things: (i) the company's financing plans; (ii) trends affecting the company's financial condition or results of operations; (iii) the company's growth strategy and operating strategy; and (iv) the declaration and payment of dividends. The words "may," "would," "will," "expect," "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," "intend" and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company's ability to control, and that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Wave assumes no duty to and does not undertake to update forward-looking statements.
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