crook
crook
Branch Unspecified
02 Jul 2006

Software Piracy - How to prevent?

Hello all CEans!

Idea for this thread comes from what I saw on microsoft download center. I tried to download internet explorer latest beta and I was prompted to install an active X control. It would check if my windows software is geniune or not.

I seriously think that this is a good initiative by Microsoft. They won't allow downloads from their site to the people who use pirated windows. This made me think of following -
  1. How is geniune software detected?
  2. How can one prevent software being copied illegally?
As software piracy is responsible for loss of bullions of dollars, its a serious question. I do not intened to find solid answers to question 2 above, but I think it would be worth discussing on our forum. Who knows, we may find out a way to prevent software piracy 😁

Let us see what CEans have to say about this issue.

Crook
02 Jul 2006
from ZedNet

crook
As software piracy is responsible for loss of bullions of dollars, its a serious question. I do not intened to find solid answers to question 2 above, but I think it would be worth discussing on our forum. Who knows, we may find out a way to prevent software piracy 😁

Let us see what CEans have to say about this issue.

Crook
That is indeed true. Let me quote results from ZdNet news -

Software piracy resulted in a loss of $34 billion worldwide in 2005, a $1.6 billion increase over 2004, according to a study commissioned by the Business Software Alliance
Let's see what CEans have to say about this.

-The Big K-
03 Jul 2006
Don't know what will be the answer of this...
But certainly want to comment one things...

Always Hackers are more powerful than makers.....

These are my views...
Based on experience....

--Crazy
03 Jul 2006
crazyboy
Always Hackers are more powerful than makers.....

--Crazy
That's a debate topic ! Let's have another discussion thread for it under Debate Center.

This thread will be dedicated to discussions on software piracy.

-The Big K-
crook

crook

Branch Unspecified
03 Jul 2006
one by one

let us take each question one by one.

1.How is geniune software detected?
Can anyone answer this? I'm not a computer engineer

crook
11 Jul 2006
just a thought ...

Well, let me drop my $0.02 -

I'm not aware of the existing mechanisms to identify pirated software and how effective it is. But here's something I think might work:

Each software copy must contain a unique id. As soon as the first copy of this software is installed, the user *must* be taken to a software registration page where the user will enter this unique ID and get his/her software copy registered.

A tool, well integrated with the softwarem will gather information about the hardware configuration of the machine on which the copy is installed. So, if someone tries to install the software on any other machine, his/her copy will never be enabled.

Using IP address of the machine, the user can well be tracked. I'm not sure if this will work.

What do you think?

-The Big K-
26 Sep 2006
(Bump) (Bump)

Are we lacking ideas here? 😀

-The Big K-
26 Sep 2006
The_Big_K
(Bump) (Bump)

Are we lacking ideas here? 😀

-The Big K-
No. of idea are not important...How full proof it is that is important..

--Crazy
04 Oct 2006
I wish if we could come up with a solution for a problem which is responsible for loss of trillions of dollars all over the world.

But we do need more ideas, what do you say? If we come up with something, we can take it up as a project on CE forums.

-The Big K-
instruite

instruite

Branch Unspecified
04 Oct 2006
Re: just a thought ...

The_Big_K
Well, let me drop my $0.02 -

I'm not aware of the existing mechanisms to identify pirated software and how effective it is. But here's something I think might work:

Each software copy must contain a unique id. As soon as the first copy of this software is installed, the user *must* be taken to a software registration page where the user will enter this unique ID and get his/her software copy registered.

A tool, well integrated with the softwarem will gather information about the hardware configuration of the machine on which the copy is installed. So, if someone tries to install the software on any other machine, his/her copy will never be enabled.

Using IP address of the machine, the user can well be tracked. I'm not sure if this will work.

What do you think?

-The Big K-
Presently all softwares have serial keys or ids which are nothing but unique ids you suggested and well someone or other will surely find the way to crack it
Most people dont want to register all their softwares and tracking by IP address is not good beacause IP addresses are not static for each machine, they can be changed, there are range of free ip/proxy addresses available the better way is to use the MAC id of the ethernet card which is unique with each card but again problems like what if I want to change card or computer

Companies are trying different methods for example Norton started something like activation of your serial number and they had some mechanism to not to activate more than one machine for a single serial number online but again they had a option of calling by telephone, telling a code generated by software and getting activation code well hackers even cracked on it and generated that code using software

and one of my friend had told me before that the pirated version of his windows OS was detected genuine by online method of microsoft 😀
04 Oct 2006
Re: just a thought ...

instruite
and one of my friend had told me before that the pirated version of his windows OS was detected genuine by online method of microsoft 😀
Microsoft won't let you download their freeware without verifying your system for geniune Windows software. The question is, how do they verify it?

-The Big K-
instruite

instruite

Branch Unspecified
05 Oct 2006
Re: just a thought ...

The_Big_K
Microsoft won't let you download their freeware without verifying your system for geniune Windows software. The question is, how do they verify it?

-The Big K-
BY statement about my friend in previous post I meant that he was able to get everything a genuine user will get because his pirated version was recognized as geninue version by microsoft detection method

and as for detection method I had read an article before on same will try to find it and post it here
Prasad Ajinkya

Prasad Ajinkya

Branch Unspecified
19 Oct 2006
Ok, heres my input ... nice topic to discuss though ...

Has anyone read Soft Wars by Larry Ellison? In the book, Larry talks about a world where the PC would be network PC, wherein the software would not be lying installed on the machine, but it would be lying somewhere on a central server.

Something along the likes of Google Spreadsheets, Writely, etc. So with AJAX capability in the browsers and more and more web applications like the above mentioned coming forth, the software paradigm has shifted from desktop based applications to a centralized platform, lets term it as a Service Deployment Platform (I know stealing this terminology, but it works in this context).

The most prevalent implementation of this model has to be World of Warcraft by Blizzard, wherein, you need a CD-Key which is again cross-checked once you sign-on to the server to use the service (the application here). Now, you do have program hacks and noCD patches running out there, but at the end of the day, the entire play is at the server side where it checks whether there is a one-to-one mapping of player to CDKey. I think Half-Life 2, had tried a similar model through Steam (but it was cracked finally!!).

To summarize, I would say that the best way to avoid software piracy is to offer the product as an online service and have an attractive payment model which ensures repeat usage.

Cheers!
crook

crook

Branch Unspecified
10 Nov 2006
Re: just a thought ...

instruite
and one of my friend had told me before that the pirated version of his windows OS was detected genuine by online method of microsoft 😀
This is possible. It might have happened that the actual owner of the windows copy never cared to register with microsoft. In order to verify, microsoft much be checking the registrations in its database. Someone from Microsoft can clarify on this 😉
10 Nov 2006
Re: just a thought ...

crook
This is possible. It might have happened that the actual owner of the windows copy never cared to register with microsoft. In order to verify, microsoft much be checking the registrations in its database. Someone from Microsoft can clarify on this 😉
You have a point, crook. Good observation 😀 . I agree with kidakaka & we may migrate to web based services from desktop applications. But there's a long way to go. The success of such technology will be highly dependent on how many lives it touches. There are many parts of the world where people don't know what a 'computer' is.

I think the key is to reduce the software prices. I bet this will help in solving the software piracy problem to a large extent.

-The Big K-
pad

pad

Branch Unspecified
13 Nov 2006
this is possible with the products that require registration and activation and every product has internet connection... (64k at least always ON...)

but belive me cracking any software is just a matter of time and available resources... unless it is something a hardwired product and nothing can be reprogrammed... (here i'd like to add something,,, i heard Intel P4 was X-Rayed and identical chips were produced without ever requiring to have the know how of the chip)


so theoritically piracy can never be stopped. only the methods employed can delay the cracking...

for those who need details:
(Crackers perspective)
The goal is to bypass the check. on the lowest level there is a comparison which will either be true or false... now if we know where is this comparison instruction and somehow we can make this camparison to work our way .... we have bypassed all the protection etc...

(Anti-piracy perspective)
i have to protect that point of comparison...

PS: i know this is not very clear explanation... but i didnt have much time when writing this
aashima

aashima

Branch Unspecified
13 Nov 2006
Recently I came to know that in certain big MNC's which include INFOSYS have certain sites like orkut banned on their systems. They say that sites like orkut offer the hackers an easy platform to intrude the systems from which they are being surfed and then any data available in that system can easily be accessed! Now the question that pesters is how can it be done? How can one do that?
pad

pad

Branch Unspecified
14 Nov 2006
that is not true to the best of my knowledge.

reason behind such ban may be:

1. dont let anyone surf internet instead of doing his/her work.
2. preserve/reduce internet bandwidth/traffic for more useful works.
3. avoid legal hassels by not allowing anybody post irrelevant/objectionable material from their networks.

may be some more reasons. given above are sufficient for me to block such access.
01 Dec 2006
aashima
Recently I came to know that in certain big MNC's which include INFOSYS have certain sites like orkut banned on their systems. They say that sites like orkut offer the hackers an easy platform to intrude the systems from which they are being surfed and then any data available in that system can easily be accessed! Now the question that pesters is how can it be done? How can one do that?
pad
that is not true to the best of my knowledge.

reason behind such ban may be:

1. dont let anyone surf internet instead of doing his/her work.
2. preserve/reduce internet bandwidth/traffic for more useful works.
3. avoid legal hassels by not allowing anybody post irrelevant/objectionable material from their networks.

may be some more reasons. given above are sufficient for me to block such access.
That's correct. The trouble with Social Networking sites is that they are full of (s)crap. Therefore, companies usually ban the social networking sites in offices. This also restricts the unnecessary usage of bandwidth.

Let's stick to the title of the thread. Is there a 'solid' way of preventing software piracy?

-The Big K-
aashima

aashima

Branch Unspecified
01 Dec 2006
Well as of Microsoft detection, there is a 25 charactar "key" that is checked at the Microsoft for its registration. Every system has a unique key and it is required to be registered which hardly our dealers care about.
I went through the validation process while installing the latest version of Microsoft Windows Media Player. All they required was this 25 charactar long ke so they can register my system or my Windows in their database.
I could not complete the process somehow but is it sure that they'll validate a pirated copy of Windows and that too for free? As in they are converting a pirated copy of their product into a valid one without any charges or complaints. Is it a trustable process to be undergone?
pad

pad

Branch Unspecified
12 Dec 2006
Human link is the weekest ;-) of all links.

infact there is no fool-proof antipiracy technology as there is no un-crackable encryption algorithm

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