Differential Analysis Software Protection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: F33615-03-M-1547
Agency Tracking Number: O031-0119
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
429 West Airline Highway, Suite S, LaPlace, LA, 70068
DUNS: 057140477
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Golden Richard, III
 Senior Computer Scientist
 (985) 652-1127
Business Contact
 Zeinab Sabri
Title: President & COO
Phone: (985) 652-1127
Email: dr_sabri@rtconline.com
Research Institution
This Phase I Small Business Innovation Research Project will examine the technical feasibility of a robust, low cost software differential analysis shield (SoftDASh) that comprises several tools and methodologies for effectively countering differentialanalysis of application software. SoftDASh components will be optimized to operate on standard processors (e.g., ADM, Intel, Motorola, etc.) used in any computer system and to minimizes performance degradation of the application software. This developmentis important because differential analysis, a specific type of reverse engineering, can help pinpoint the locations of changes across released versions of software, potentially allowing newly introduced security features to be more easily defeated. Theeffort will examine various differential analysis techniques and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each technique. Based on that, innovative SoftDASh tools and techniques will be identified to counter those differential analysis techniques,including methods to prevent the use of reverse engineering tools such as debuggers and disassemblers, which aid in determining how software has changed across released versions. From those a set of tools and techniques will be recommended forincorporation into a SoftDASh prototype for demonstration in Phase II. Any computer application where software security is a concern would benefit from the SoftDASh technology, especially when the software is vulnerable to differential analysis. Thisincludes applications software, which undergoes several releases to improve security, to introduce new access control mechanisms, or similar. The SoftDASh tools and technologies would be highly marketable in both the DoD and commercial sectors forprotection of high-value software against differential analysis. The SoftDASh technology would also be applicable to any software already in widespread use (DoD or Commercial) where protection is desired for newer versions. The SoftDASh tools would be mostbeneficial for protection of costly special applications software packages that have limited distribution.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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