Idiosyncratic Computer Signatures used for Software Protection

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Amount:
$375,000.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
FA8650-04-C-8003
Award Id:
66769
Agency Tracking Number:
O031-0174
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
BARRON ASSOC., INC. (Currently BARRON ASSOCIATES, INC.)
1160 Pepsi Place Suite 300, Charlottesville, VA, 22901
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
120839477
Principal Investigator:
Carl Elks
Research Scientist
(434) 973-1215
elks@barron-associates.com
Business Contact:
David Ward
President
(434) 973-1215
barron@barron-associates.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
The Software Protection Initiative (SPI) calls for an ability to "lock-down or authenticate" a particular application executable to a specific computing platform. Current practices to achieve this capability include (1) electronic licensing protocols, (2) hardware dongles, (3) disk volume IDs and, more recently, (4) encrypted CPU IDs. All of these methods have relative advantages and disadvantages; however, these methods can be compromised with moderate effort when used as the only solution to the problem. As a result, the security community has recently become interested in the feasibility of obtaining high quality idiosyncratic electronic signatures directly from a computing platform. These signatures would provide a means of authentication that addresses the deficiencies of the current methods. Our Phase I research effort demonstrated the existence of idiosyncratic features, the feasibility of using these features to uniquely identify a computer, and a method for leveraging this identification to prevent unauthorized software execution. The result of the Phase I research was an integrated algorithm, software, and hardware design. The proposed Phase II research will produce a fully functional prototype of a PCI card device that interacts with application software to prevent it from executing on unauthorized computing platforms.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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