BitLocker Components

BitLocker contains four main components: a single Microsoft TPM driver, an API called TPM Base Services (TBS), BitLocker Drive Encryption, and a WMI provider.

Like most hardware, a TPM chip needs a driver to expose its functionality to the operating system and, ultimately, to applications. By including the Microsoft TPM driver within Windows Vista, we gain increased stability and can more easily leverage the TPM's security features. To use a TPM with BitLocker, you must allow Vista to use the Microsoft driver. The Microsoft driver works with TPM chips that are at version 1.2 or newer.

TPM Base Services (TBS) is an application programming interface (API) that allows applications to access the services provided by a TPM. In this aspect, even though it is part of the Windows operating system, BitLocker is an "application" that uses TBS. The advantage of this architecture is that other applications could also make use of the TPM. After Vista is in the marketplace for a while, I believe we will see other security applications that call on TBS. TBS also allows the TPM to be managed within Windows Vista from the TPM Management Console, instead of forcing users to navigate through endless BIOS screens.

BitLocker Drive Encryption, itself, is the OS component that encrypts and decrypts data on the volume, and uses the TPM to validate the pre-OS boot components. BitLocker has a number of options that can change its default behavior, many of which are exposed through Group Policy settings.

BitLocker is also totally scriptable and manageable. In addition to Group Policy options, BitLocker and TBS both include Windows Management Interface (WMI) providers. WMI is the Windows implementation of Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM), so any WBEM console can also be used with BitLocker. More usefully, though, this WMI interface allows BitLocker to be scripted, and Vista includes a scripted utility called manage-bde.wsf, which allows you to configure and control BitLocker from the command line or a batch file, either locally or remotely.

It is also worth noting here, even though we talk about it in more detail later in the chapter, BitLocker integrates with Active Directory Domain Services to store TPM and BitLocker information that can be used for recovery.

Source of Information : Administering Windows Vista Security The Big Surprises

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