Beyond Broadband Technology LLC, a cable-backed consortium founded in 2005 that is focused on downloadable security, said it has been granted a core patent made up of 202 individual claims for a flexible platform that enables CE hardware to protect the transmission of electronic data.
BBT has incorporated the technology behind the patent in a secure microchip that, it says, can be deployed in televisions, tablets, smartphones, computers and other types of CE devices.
BBT said its newly patented technology eliminates the need for a “trusted authority” or storing any keys, meaning the transmission provider of the video or data remains in total control of the authentication, conditional access and encryption of the content.
“Security is increased by the fact that neither BBT nor the provider knows or has access to the ‘private keys’ used in the process. Stored keys cannot be hacked, divulged or stolen because there are no stored keys,” BBT said.
BBT, originally backed by Tele-Media Broadband, Buford Media Group and WinDBreak Cable but now an LLC owned by cable vets Bill Bauer, Steve Effros, Ben Hooks and Tony Swain, has built its technology into what it calls the BBTSolution, a downloadable security system that relies on a secure microprocessor. The BBTSolution has initially been deployed on cable set-top boxes. Back in June, BBT told Multichannel News (subscription required) that 21 cable systems were in the process of deploying BBT’s platform, and that it had delivered about 1,000 set-tops for the early phase of deployment and testing. The first batch of boxes used a secure microchip from ST Microelectronics. In 2007, the FCC approved BBT's approach as an acceptable approach to separable set-top security.
BBT said its technology is transmission-agnostic, meaning it can run on the Internet, virtual private networks, cable and satellite networks, and phone and cellular networks. Suggested applications include secure video program distribution, protecting confidential personal, corporate or government data, and assuring individual privacy and control of electronic health records.
BBT said it is currently in discussions about how its platform could be used to secure electronic medical records, electricity-grid metering and wireless communications.
“This downloadable hardware approach enables a whole new level of security,” said Bill Bauer, BBT's CEO and chief technical officer, in a statement. “It’s what anyone manufacturing devices or distributing electronic data communications has needed for a long time – an open system diverse parties can use to protect data and intellectual property going to the same device without the traditional need to trust that security to someone else.”