Virtual Leashing: Internet-Based Software Piracy
Speaker: Nir Shavit , Tel Aviv UniversityContact:
Date: February 21 2006
Time: 4:15PM to 5:15PM
Host: Nancy Lynch, MIT CSAIL
Kevin Matulef, email@example.comRelevant URL: http://theory.csail.mit.edu/toc-seminars/
Today's approaches to software protection and control are inherently weak: in one way or another they all have the software run ``in the clear'' on the client machine, making it easy to redistribute the software without authorization.
We introduce Virtual Leashing, a new technique that attempts to put software protection on a more solid foundation. The leashing process removes small fragments of code, pervasive throughout the application, and places them on a secure server. The secure server provides the missing functionality, but *never* the missing code. Reverse engineering the missing code, even with full tracing of the program's execution and its communication with the server, is hard (though not provably computationally hard). The server provides the missing functionality asynchronously so that the application's performance is, for all practical purposes, independent of the secure server's speed. In this way, Virtual Leashing allows the server to reside on a slow inexpensive chip or a remote Internet server. In one test, we controlled a high-performance game running in Israel over a 52K modem from a server running in Texas.
Joint work with Maurice Herlihy and Ori Dvir.
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