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The use of honeypot approach in software-based application protection for shareware programs

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3 Author(s)
Jap, C.H.N. ; Univ. of Nottingham, Semenyih, Malaysia ; Blanchfield, P. ; Su, K.S.D.

Shareware programs are susceptible to piracy. Various reverse engineering methods used to circumvent software-based protection employed by existing shareware programs were analysed in this paper to provide insight into their weaknesses. These weaknesses include easily reverse-engineered algorithms, algorithms that compare the valid key with the entered key in plain text in memory, algorithms that reveal the actual key in memory and single point of failure. Because shareware programs are generally inexpensive and are developed by small teams, it may not be practical for shareware developers to implement protection solutions that are prohibitive in terms of cost and effort. A honeypot approach that can be implemented without significant effort, aimed at prolonging the time taken to fully circumvent the protection is proposed and tested. It has the following properties - appears to be easily defeated, is unpredictable and stealthy, and is a machine-dependent algorithm.

Published in:

Computing & Informatics, 2006. ICOCI '06. International Conference on

Date of Conference:

6-8 June 2006