VIA StrongBox Builds In More Functionality and Language Support for Wider Data Security

Enhanced release of VIA StrongBox, the VIA PadLock-enabled secure virtual drive software application, provides secure backup and PC-to-PC transfer with extended language support

Taipei, Taiwan, 16 November 2005 – VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced an enhanced release of the VIA StrongBox application that boosts security functionality for protection against identity and data theft, and offers full language support for English, Simplified Chinese and German.

VIA StrongBox is a secure virtual drive application that utilizes the unique VIA PadLock Security Engine in the new VIA C7 and VIA C7-M processors to enable real-time encryption of data using military-grade security algorithms. Today’s update provides even greater flexibility by facilitating secure backup and PC-to-PC transfer through a new Load/Unload function, allowing users to store their secure drives away from their PC. This is especially valuable for notebooks that are far more vulnerable to physical theft, with the user assured that they have a fully secure backup of their confidential information elsewhere.

This VIA StrongBox release now also implements full language support for English, Simplified Chinese and German.

“VIA StrongBox has been a flagship illustration of the type of protection possible when both hardware and software are utilized together to secure data,” said Richard Brown, Vice President for Corporate Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “With this enhanced release of VIA StrongBox, we are not only extending the security offered by the VIA PadLock Security Engine, but making it more widely accessible with multi-language support.”

VIA StrongBox was recently put to the test at the Hack-in-the-Box Security Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where some of the world’s best hackers tested their skills in a real life scenario, vying for a prize worth US$5000. A secret document locked within a secure virtual drive on VIA C7-M processor based notebooks proved inaccessible throughout the conference, as VIA StrongBox successfully thwarted dozens of attempted hacks. In the process, its levels of security garnered considerable acclaim by knowledgeable hackers, with numerous positive comments made about the hardware based security mechanisms used by VIA StrongBox, and the real-time protection offered through the power of the VIA PadLock Security Engine, which is integrated on-die into all VIA C7-M and VIA C7 processors.

About VIA StrongBox

Viruses, worms, hacking and identity theft have become an everyday part of computing, with the result that the security of personal and confidential business information is emerging as a leading issue in computing today. Notebook PCs are especially vulnerable, with their easy portability creating a much higher risk of theft and loss – reports show that a staggering 10% of notebooks are stolen annually.

VIA StrongBox utilizes the extremely fast and effective hardware implementation of US-government standard AES encryption and quantum-based random number generators of the VIA PadLock Security Engine integrated directly into all VIA C7 and VIA C7-M processors, as well as VIA C3 and VIA Eden processors based on the ‘Nehemiah’ C5P core, enabling users to protect their personal documents, photos and files in up to 10 ultra-secure ‘strongbox’ virtual drives on a system’s hard drive. In the enhanced release of VIA StrongBox, these drives can be configured to any size, limited only by the amount of free space on the system hard drive. Accessed through the VIA StrongBox Control Center or the standard Microsoft® Windows® file manager, VIA StrongBox uses a stylish, intuitive interface for easy configuration and management.

VIA StrongBox further expands on its initial release by extending military-grade protection to information transferred from PC to PC and stored for backup. Using its new load and unload feature, users can transfer VIA StrongBox drives to other storage devices or network appliances as well as other PCs. This in turn facilitates the secure transfer of information between systems based on the VIA C7 processor family. The Load feature also allows users to recover VIA StrongBox drives, and the information stored inside, in the event of system failure.

Information can be saved and retrieved on unlocked StrongBox drives just like any other storage device, but when locked or when the computer is shut down or inactive for a period, VIA StrongBox encrypts all the contents in real time, rendering them 100% unreadable and inaccessible to unauthorized users. Moreover, automatic lock-up on the activation of a screen saver, following multiple incorrect password entries, or after a period of keyboard and mouse inactivity provides protection from “lunch time attacks,” should the user forget to lock up their drives before moving away from their PC.

VIA StrongBox has been designed to support English, Simplified Chinese and German.

Available for free download from the VIA product and technical information portal VIA Arena, the VIA StrongBox software joins an existing suite of VIA PadLock-enabled applications released by VIA and its partners, as the latest demonstration of the effectiveness of the VIA PadLock Security Engine. With the VIA PadLock Security Initiative, VIA is laying down a strong foundation for security by providing a comprehensive set of powerful building blocks to create the building of dynamic digital fortresses to protect valuable information from existing and emerging cyber threats.

To find out more about VIA StrongBox, please visit the VIA website at:

About the VIA C7-M Mobile Processor

The VIA C7-M processor was designed to inspire a new breed of mobile devices, featuring a unique architecture that enables high performance with low power, cool temperature operation. As the smallest x86 mobile PC processor, the VIA C7-M processor is targeted specifically at the mainstream, thin and light, and ultra portable notebook segments.

To enhance the confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of electronic data for mobile users on the go, the VIA C7-M has augmented the industry-leading on-die hardware cryptographic acceleration features within the VIA PadLock Security Engine, adding SHA-1 and SHA-256 hashing for secure message digests for data integrity, and a hardware based Montgomery Multiplier supporting key sizes up to 32K in length to accelerate public key cryptography, such as RSA™, to the world’s best random number generator (RNG) and AES Encryption Engine in the previous processor generation with the ‘Nehemiah’ C5P core. The VIA C7-M also provides execute protection (NX), providing protection from malicious software such as worms and viruses, and is used in Microsoft® Windows® XP with SP2. Integrating security directly onto the processor die ensures speeds and efficiency many times that available in software, yet with negligible impact on processor performance.

About VIA Technologies, Inc.

VIA Technologies, Inc. (TSE 2388) is the foremost fabless supplier of market-leading core logic chipsets, low power x86 processors, advanced connectivity, multimedia, networking and storage silicon, and complete platform solutions that are driving system innovation in the PC and embedded markets. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, VIA’s global network links the high tech centers of the US, Europe and Asia, and its customer base includes the world’s top OEMs, motherboard vendors and system integrators.

VIA Technologies, Inc.