Intel stuffs McAfee's future in hardware

Silicon security for software attacks.

Intel has lifted the lid on its plans to deliver a “hardware enhanced” McAfee to tackle security from the data centre to desktops and mobile devices.

The chip behemoth, which acquired McAfee in 2010 for US$7.68 billion, will offer an integrated McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator with its “Trusted Execution Technology”, dubbed TXT in a briefing Intel released last week.

Intel promotes TXT as data centre “hardware security” that fends off software attacks. Combined with McAfee, TXT will run an integrity check on its Intel Xeon E5 server processors at start-up.

“This allows virtual environments to boot with hardware-enhanced security features,” explained Jason Waxman, Intel GM of Cloud Infrastructure Group on the company’s blog.

“We’ve worked with Trapezoid Digital Security to demonstrate how TXT can be combined with McAfee’s e-Policy Orchestrator to demonstrate how to manage permissions based on whether a server has an established hardware root of trust.”

Intel will tackle virtual machine instances with McAfee’s “MOVE” antivirus which will “offload” scan processing from a virtual instance to improve performance.

Intel claims embedding Intel Identity Protection Technology into the desktop will eliminate the need for discrete hardware tokens, while McAfee’s identity manager software will back up Intel’s own cloud identity management technology.

On the desktop the chip-maker will package McAfee’s Deep Defender and DeepSAFE inside Intel’s core i3, i5 and i7 desktop processors to tackle, for example, rootkits. The company unveiled that technology late last year.