Startup updates anti-piracy protection

Startup VI Labs has updated its CodeArmor software for protecting software against intellectual property theft, adding device driver verification and protection against binary tampering.

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Startup VI Labs has updated its CodeArmor software for protecting software against intellectual property theft, adding device driver verification and protection against binary tampering.

CodeArmor is designed for organisations concerned that their software could be reverse-engineered or otherwise made to reveal the secrets of its construction. The software can be built into software without the need to modify source code, according to VI Labs.

The company was founded last year by David Pensak, the original developer of the product now sold as Symantec's Enterprise Firewall. CodeArmor guards agaist software copying, code theft and other types of tampering, according to VI Labs.

One customer is Sequoia Voting Systems, a large electronic voting vendor, which uses CodeArmor to protect its embedded software.

A new feature in version 2.2 prevents application binaries from being tampered with statically or dynamically as they are being run, VI Labs said.

"Binary tampering is the leading method used by the piracy cracking community to bypass and disable application license enforcement systems," the company said.

The software can now verify device drivers to make sure no untoward elements are present before allowing a program to run, and can block against debuggers.

Debuggers are often a source of concern to ISVs looking to protect their software from snoopers. Earlier this week Apple got itself into hot water with open source developers for adding a capability to the prominent DTrace debugger tool allowing applications to block DTrace scrutiny. DTrace was blocked from scanning iTunes, among other applications.

CodeArmor can now add its software protection to applications via Sybase PowerBuilder and Borland Delphi compilers.

The new version also has added more commands to its secure debugging feature, which protects source code when a program is exposed to a collaborative or outsourced development environment.