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METHODS AND SYSTEM FOR A KEY
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates in general to a key stored on a token, and more specifically to plan for recovering a key.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 One of the problems in securing computer systems is the need for tamper-resistant storage of security information such as keys, digital certificates, identifiers, and related data. This functionality can be provided by a token, such as a smart card, a security token, a USB (universal serial bus) token, or the like. In addition, tokens can provide the ability to be replaced when the token or security becomes compromised.
 One of the risks of relying on tokens is that they can be lost, forgotten, broken, or stolen. It is possible to issue a new key to replace the old key. Nevertheless, it is not necessarily desirable to invalidate the keys and replace the old token with a new token having new keys. For example, the user might still want to use the old keys to access computer resources, such as e-mail.
 In any event, the token might simply be temporarily misplaced and not compromised, so it is not necessary to invalidate the keys for the token. When the user locates the token, the old key might be re-used.  A system can provide various actions which can be taken, such as generating a new token with the old keys, generating a new token with new keys, revoking certificates, generating new certificates, or similar. However, taking any one of these actions in certain situations can have undesirable consequences, such as further compromising security or rendering system resources inaccessible.  Therefore, to address the above described problems and other problems, what is needed is a method and system for providing a plan of actions which can be taken when a token is lost, forgotten, damaged, or stolen.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 Accordingly, one or more embodiments of the present invention provide methods, systems and computer readable mediums for recovering subject keys and/or certificates for a token. A unique identifier associated with the token is obtained. The token is associated with subject keys and with a first status of multiple statuses, the statuses including a lost status state and an other status state. In response to the token being in the lost status state, a key recovery plan is determined to recover at least one of the subject keys and the certificates associated with the token.  Moreover, one or more embodiments provide methods, computer systems, and computer readable mediums that determine a key recovery plan to recover subject keys and/or certificates for tokens. A first unit obtains a status of a token, wherein the status is a first status of multiple statuses including a lost status state. A second unit associates the status with the token. A third unit, in response to the token being associated with the lost status state, associates a reason(s) with the token, wherein respective reasons have associated therewith respective actions to be performed for respective subject keys associated with the token. A fourth unit, in response to the token being in the lost
status state, initiates the performance of the respective actions for the respective subject keys associated with the token.
 Also, one or more embodiments provide methods, systems and computer-readable mediums for managing a subject key and/or certificate for a token. The embodiment (s) provides for interacting with a subject to indicate a first status of multiple statuses, the statuses including a temporarily lost state, a permanently lost state, and a destroyed state. Also, it provides for updating the first status of the token.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate various exemplary embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the figures:
 FIG. 1 illustrates a simplified and representative environment associated with a computer system;  FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating a simplified key recovery plan;
 FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating portions of an exemplary server;
 FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating a simplified agent interface for managing a subject key and/or certificate for a token;
 FIG. 5 is a block diagram illustrating portions of an exemplary client for the agent interface;  FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating an exemplary procedure for recovering keys and/or retrieving certificates for a token; and
 FIG. 7 is a flow chart illustrating an exemplary procedure for managing a subject key and/or certificate for a token.
 In overview, the present disclosure concerns secure systems such as may be operated in connection with certifying and/or authenticating identifiers associated with users and/or computers and/or tokens. Such secure systems may be utilized in connection with other services such as communications, secured access, and/or telecommunications. Such secure systems can include computer systems which support the use of tokens to access independent data objects representing certificates, keys, security information, and related data, for example by providing end-user interfaces, managing keys, and providing authentication. More particularly, various inventive concepts and principles are embodied in systems, devices, and methods therein for planning the recovery of security information for a token.  The instant disclosure is provided to further explain in an enabling fashion the best modes of performing one or more embodiments of the present invention. The disclosure is further offered to enhance an understanding and appreciation for the inventive principles and advantages thereof, rather than to limit in any manner the invention. The invention is defined solely by the appended claims including any amendments made during the pendency of this application and all equivalents of those claims as issued.  It is further understood that the use of relational terms such as first and second, and the like, if any, are used solely to distinguish one from another entity, item, or action
without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order between such entities, items or actions. It is noted that some embodiments may include a plurality of processes or steps, which can be performed in any order, unless expressly and necessarily limited to a particular order; i.e., processes or steps that are not so limited may be performed in any order.
 Much of the inventive functionality and many of the inventive principles when implemented, are best supported with or in software or integrated circuits (ICs), such as a digital signal processor and software therefore, and/or application specific ICs. It is expected that one of ordinary skill, notwithstanding possibly significant effort and many design choices motivated by, for example, available time, current technology, and economic considerations, when guided by the concepts and principles disclosed herein will be readily capable of generating such software instructions or ICs with minimal experimentation. Therefore, in the interest of brevity and minimization of any risk of obscuring the principles and concepts according to the present invention, further discussion of such software and ICs, if any, will be limited to the essentials with respect to the principles and concepts used by the exemplary embodiments.  As further discussed herein below, various inventive principles and combinations thereof are advantageously employed to determine how keys, certificates, and other security information corresponding to a token will be recovered. A key recovery plan can be utilized to decide what action to perform. The plan can determine actions such as whether the keys should be recovered to the token, whether a new key should be issued, and/or whether certificates associated with the token should be revoked or retrieved. In addition, other actions can be taken to affect information associated with the token. The actions can be customized via plug-ins as desired so that different subjects can take customized actions.
 Situations that can be addressed via a key recovery plan include a user getting a new token, a user using the wrong token, a user breaking their token, a user's token being stolen, a user permanently losing their token, a user temporarily losing their token, and the like. Also, key recovery plan can address a changed situation, for example, a lost token that was found or determined to be stolen.  A token can be defined with a status of active, inactive, and lost. The key recovery plan can define how to deal with tokens which are lost. The reason a token is lost can be further defined, for example, temporarily lost, permanently lost, destroyed, key compromised, stolen, on hold, and/or the like. The key recovery plan can differentiate among the actions that can be taken by the status and the reasons associated with a particular token. In addition, because a token can be associated with multiple subject keys (such as a signing key, and an encryption key), certificates, and other security information, the actions that can be taken can be further differentiated by the keys, certificates and/or other security information. For example, when a particular token is assigned a lost status because it is broken, the actions specified for the signing key can be different from the actions for the encryption key and/or any other key.  Reference will now be made in detail to the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.
 Referring now to FIG. 1, a simplified and representative environment associated with a computer system will be discussed and described. The environment includes a client 101 such as for interfacing with a user and/or a token, a token 103, and a server 105 such as a token processing system. The server 105 can communicate with an agent interface 107, a certificate authority 111, and a subject key database 113. The agent interface 107 can be configured to support an agent in telephonically communicating with an end user, for example when the user's token is broken.  The server 105 may be a computing machine or platform configured to execute secure and/or unsecure (or open) applications through a multiple user operating system (not shown) in conjunction with the client 101. The server 105 may be implemented with server platforms as known to those skilled in the art from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Hewlett-Packard, and/or others. The server 105 may interact with the client 101 over the connection, for example a wireless or wired communication network, such as the Internet, a LAN (local area network), an intranet or similar. Also, the server 105 can interface with the subject key database 113, which stores subject keys corresponding to the tokens in a database which is separate from the tokens 103. The subject keys can also be stored on the token 103. The token information can be stored separately from the subject keys.
 The client 101 can be a computing machine or platform (machine) configured to execute secure and/or open applications through a multi-user operating system. The client 101 may be implemented on a personal computer, a workstation, a thin client, a thick client, or other similar computing platform. The client 101 may be configured to interface with the token 103.
 The agent interface 107 can be provided in connection with a computing machine or platform, as described above. The agent interface can interact with a user and can instruct the server 105 to perform various actions.  The certificate authority 111 can be provided in accordance with known techniques, for generating certificates. The certificate authority 111 can be responsible for issuing certificates.
 The subject key database 113 can store the subject keys and token records/token information. A subject key is a key for a subject, that is, a user, device, or specific organization. Subject keys include, for example, a signing key, and an encryption key. A subject key is to be distinguished from a certificate. Subject keys can be associated with a particular token 103. Typically, the token 103 is associated with a unique identifier that is known to the server 105. Accordingly, embodiments can provide that the respective subject keys associated with the token include a signing key and an encryption key. It is anticipated that subject keys will be stored in encrypted form, and that the various actions will be programmed appropriately to access the subject keys.
 Referring now to FIG. 2, a diagram illustrating a simplified key recovery plan 201 will be discussed and described. The key recovery plan 201 includes lost status states, represented in the illustration by lost status state A 203, lost status state B 205, and lost status state C 207. Lost status states can include, for example, broken, temporarily lost, and/or permanently lost, although these denominations are intended to indicate different actions to be taken by a key recovery plan. A lost status state can have subject keys