Intel developing Embedded Antivirus PC Processor [McAfee]

Intel’s purchase of Security software Giant McAfee came as a surprise for everyone.
At Intel Developer Forum, Intel’s Paul Otellini explained that it as an effort to move the way the company approaches security “from a known-bad model to a known-good model.”

He said, current Antivirus efforts focus on building up a library of known threats against which they protect a user, but Intel would love to move to a world where only code from known and trusted parties runs on x86 systems. Run only the code that has been blessed as safe by some trusted authority.

Alright, sounds good, but is there a downside?

This sounds something like Apple’s App Store where each and every developed gets approved by an authority. Regardless of what you think of the idea, its success would have at least two unmitigated upsides: 1) everyone will get vPro by default , and 2) it would put every security company, out of business.

Inttel plans to have two roles as a security provider: a component provider role, and an end-to-end platform/software/services provider role.  Its possible that Intel could build its own secure app store ecosystem, where developers send code to McAfee for approval and distribution. In this model, McAfee would essentially act as the “Apple” for everyone making, say, MeeGo apps.

But, the truth is,  walled garden approach sounds very attractive for the desktop, and they’ll probably be rejected outright by many Linux and open-source users. So what looks more doable is that Intel would set up a number of trusted signing authorities for x86 code, and developers could approach any one of them to get their code signed for distribution. Something very similar to how https web pages work on the web. This distributed approach seems to work well enough online, and I wonder why it can’t work offline on PCs too.

Security would be embedded, not a choice.

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