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ABSTRACT
ABYSS (A Basic Yorktown Security System) is an architecture for the trusted execution of application software. It supports a uniform security service across the. range of computing systems. The use of ABYSS discussed in this paper is oriented towards solving the software protection problem, especially in the lower end of the market. Both current and planned software distribution channels are supportable by the architecture, and the system is nearly transparent to legitimate users. A novel use-once authorization mechanism, called a token, is introduced as a solution to the problem of providing authorizations without direct communication. Software vendors may use the system to obtain technical enforcement of virtually any terms and conditions of the sale of their software, including such things as rental software. Software may be transferred between systems, and backed up to guard against loss in case of failure. We discuss the problem of protecting software on these systems, and offer guidelines to its solution. ABYSS is shown to be a general security base, in which many security applications may execute.
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