Microsoft Palladium, or Trusted Platform Module as it is in its current state is a certification a piece of tech can receive if it follows certain security procedures, mostly to prevent copying.  The main purpose is to enable checking if other components in a particular loop also conform to TPM and to be able change their behaviour based on whether they are or not.  For instance a loop could be motherboard, GPU, audio and display; if all conform to TPM then you get to watch true 1080p content with HD audio.  If on the other hand all components do not conform, then you might be trying to capture the video and audio, so you get a degraded signal that is still watchable but not the quality it could be.

A former US Army computer-security specialist, in the attempt to enable non-certified controllers on his Xbox found that the controllers contained a popular TPM security chip, the Infineon SLE 66PE and he went to work on it.  Perhaps the scariest part to this story is that was able to order these TPM chips from a Hong Kong surplus market for 15 cents apiece.  That gave him enough chips to work his way into an effective hack that circumvents the various built in anti-tampering features on the chip and leave it working perfectly after it was modified.  The Register has more on this story that will terrify anyone who believes in security through obscurity.

“Hardware hacker Christopher Tarnovsky just wanted to break Microsoft’s grip on peripherals for its Xbox 360 game console. In the process, he cracked one of the most heavily fortified chips ever put into a consumer device.”

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk