Software poachers turn gamekeepers

Secure apps wrappers

A group of reformed software security breakers have developed technology to secure digital content and software applications.

BitArts, a UK based digital rights management start-up, has developed technology which provides a secure software 'wrapper' around applications or, for example, MP3 files.

There are numerous digital rights management firms in the marketplace, but BitArts feel its technology has the edge because they used to break the security of games or application software themselves, and this puts them one step ahead in understanding the issues.

John Safa, chief technology officer at BitArts and a reformed software security 'cracker', said an emerging risk is that virus authors might modify software applications in order to trick users into running apparently trusted software, that contains malicious code.

He couldn't point to any examples of this happening though, and we're left with the impression most of the firm's business will come from licensing technology to frustrate software piracy, which costs the industry an estimated $12 billion a year.

BitArts technology prevents software piracy by stopping unauthorised copying of downloaded software. It also looks to see if applications have been contaminated with malicious code.

The firm's business model relies on taking a percentage of software licensing fees and it is looking to partner with software vendors in order to grow its revenues, which it is not willing to disclose. ®

External links

BitArts' home page

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