The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 51 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a patent that reveals the future ability of having an iDevice hold data of multiple users in its secure enclave. This particular patent also covers “Password/Passcode Throttling.” Our second segment covers three Apple Watch with one illustrating new flexible sensors that saves space within the watch. And, as always, we wrap up this week’s granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple today.
Multiple User Secure Enclave & Password/Passcode Throttling Patent
Apple was granted patent 10,872,152 which provides a system, method, and apparatus to provision domains in a secure enclave processor to support multiple users. The patent also covers Passcode Throttling. Apple’s invention went from a provisional patent directly to a granted patent bypassing a public version of a patent application to keep this as secret as they could.
In one embodiment the invention provides for an apparatus comprising a first processor to receive a set of credentials associated with one of multiple user accounts on the apparatus and a second processor including a secure circuit to provide a secure enclave, the secure enclave to receive a request from the first processor to authenticate the set of credentials, the request including supplied credentials and an authentication type, where the secure enclave is to block the request from the first processor in response to a determination that the user account has exceeded a threshold number of successive failed authentication attempts for the authentication type.
In a second embodiment the patent covers providing users with Password Throttling. Passcode throttling can enable some single-user mobile computing devices, such as smartphone or tablet computing devices, to limit the rate in which an unauthorized user can attempt to enter incorrect passcodes. The mobile computing device can be configured to auto-disable and block additional authorization attempts after a maximum number of incorrect passcodes have been entered.
As an additional technique, the rate of passcode entry can be throttled after a pre-determined number of incorrect authentication attempts. Throttling the rate of incorrect attempts provides various benefits, including limiting the likelihood in which an accidental lockout occurs and frustrating the ability to of a malicious attacker to perform a brute-force passcode attack.
In some embodiments, passcode entry rate limiting is enabled for multi-user computing devices such as desktop and laptop computers. Passcode entry rate limiting can be enabled such that the rate of incorrect access attempts to a device can be throttled on a per-user basis.
In one embodiment, for multi-user computing devices having multiple access methods (e.g., console login, remote login, remote storage access, remote command line access, etc.), incorrect access attempts may be throttled on a per-access method basis. Such techniques balance security and convenience by limiting the ability for a malicious attacker to perform a brute-force password or passcode attack on a computing device while also limiting the ability of the malicious attacker to leverage the password/passcode throttling technique as a method to deny access to legitimate users.
Apple’s patent FIG. 4 below illustrates a login system implemented via a secure enclave processor; FIG. 6 illustrates operations for logic to perform secure enclave authentication for a multi-user data processing system.
For more details, review Apple was granted patent 10,872,152.
Three Apple Watch Patents
Apple was granted a series of Apple Watch patents today as noted below:
01: Proximity detection for an input mechanism of an electronic device
02: Sensing force and press location in absence of touch information
03: Flexible sensor configured to detect user inputs
Apple’s patent FIG. 14 below of patent 03 above shows an example of a flexible sensor. The flexible sensor #1400 includes partial gaps #1402 that permit the flexible sensor to conform to the contoured surface of the physical component #1404.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today