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Understanding Copy Protection of Data

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Encryption and Understanding Copy Protection of Data
This article explains how to copy protect your data using encryption and a software copy protection scheme. Copy Protection will protect an application program but not the data. In order to protect the data, we must encrypt the data files, prior to distribution, and then dynamically decrypt the data inside of the application program prior to displaying the data. After the encryption is in place, you can add the copy protection to the application. This ensures that all of your application and data files are all protected.

If you wish to encrypt text or pictures and do not have your own application software then see if eBookGuard will work for your application. eBookGuard will encrypt your pictures and text and then can be used with ShareGuard to add the copy protection.

If you wish to encrypt MP3 audio files and do not have your own application software then see if MP3Guard will work for your application. MP3Guard will encrypt your MP3 files and then can be used with ShareGuard to add the copy protection.

If you wish to encrypt video files and do not have your own application software then see if MovieGuard will work for your application. MovieGuard will encrypt your video files and then can be used with ShareGuard to add the copy protection.

If you wish to encrypt PDF files and do not have your own application software then see if PDFGuard will work for your application. PDFGuard will encrypt your PDF file and then can be used with ShareGuard to add the copy protection.

You must have an encryption alogirthm that can be used to:
  1. Create the encrypted files so that they cannot be used without the correct encryption algorithm and decryption keys
  2. Decrypt the data so that it can be used.
Encryption:
The procedure is as follows:
Encrypt data files using the algorithm. Decrypt data files in application program. You should decrypt in memory to provide the best encryption protection. If you must decrypt to a file then create a temporary file with the following attributes:
  1. Delete immediately after the resource has been released
  2. Resource cannot be shared
Some different encryption algorithms:
Blowfish
RSA
DES or Triple DES

128 bit versus 256 bit encryption:
This is simply the number of bits employed in the key to create the encrypted file or data. This key must still be run through an algorithm to decrypt the file. The more bits means the more possible combinations that must be tried to unlock the encrypted file. To unlock the encrypted file the cracker must know both the algorithm and the keys used in conjunction with the algorithm.

Hashing:
Hashing is for data verification and is one-way. Creating a hash value allows for the verification that the file is intact and has not been modified. You cannot reverse hashing and it is not encryption.

Some examples of hashing algorithms:
CRC
MD5

The procedure is as follows:
Create a hash value by running the algorithm against the data or file. The data or file can now be checked that it has not been tampered with by running the same hashing algorithm against the data or file. The hash value is always the same as the original.

If you do not have an encryption algorithm then get the source code for encryption from here:
Free Encryption / Cryptographic Libraries and Source Code

- William H. Bradshaw
Get The FREE Trial Software:
Copy Protection Summary:

- Increases revenue by encouraging customer registration

- Prevents unauthorized access to software

- Prevents reverse engineering of software

- Allows for full version trial

Additional Resources:

- Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CASST)

- Federation Against Software Theft (FAST)

- Business Software Alliance (BSA)

- Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)

- Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPS)

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