20 Mar 2019
Rudyard Kipling said, ‘East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet’. The commonplace phrase often justifies any difference in mentalities extending it to Russia.
14 Feb 2019
At the beginning of this century, there was a surge in investment in companies that were engaged in software development. Unfortunately, however, there were few of the companies investment in which turned out to be successful. StarForce CEO Michael Kalinichenko tells us about this situation, as well as what should be taken into account when analyzing financial activities of software companies.
5 Dec 2018
It is hard to image modern society without gadgets. Many mobile applications have become an integral part of our life. Apps are used everywhere. People order everything from a taxi to food in mobile apps. They also actively use communication and navigation apps and make online payments. Generally, mobile applications are always with us on tablets and smartphones.
15 Nov 2018
StarForce CEO Michael Kalinichenko tells a story about how StarForce has been protecting educational courses, as well as about the video player customization.
12 Oct 2018
Despite the fact that we have been protecting audio/video files and text information in various formats for many years, we have never experienced the protection of XML files until one customer requested us.
24 Aug 2018
In a world where sensitive information can be easily stolen, it is crucially important to protect it with the help of strong security systems. One of the latest methods of protecting information is biometric authentication that is gaining popularity worldwide. Besides, it seems to be reliable and hard to be forged by attackers. So let us see how the system can become a target for hackers and what steps should be taken to prevent that.
23 Jul 2018
One of the most frequent requests that our company receives is how to protect video from copying. Our clients (creators of video and audio content that represents intellectual property) want to control how their files are distributed, to manage access to the files, to protect them from copying and to prevent screen recording.
To solve these problems, StarForce offers two options for protecting video from copying. In both cases, you can protect audio and video files of most of the common formats.
4 Jul 2018
If you used the SFContent.com service to protect audio and video files, you might have noticed the ‘Creating a playlist’ step in the protection process.
Such playlist is provided as an SFM3U file and can be opened from StarForce Player, the multimedia player.
This is highly convenient if you protect several files that should play back in a certain order.
6 Jun 2018
The users perceive an application or a driver that do not have a digital signature as a potential malware, because the users constantly encounter problems when they run the software.
Third-party antivirus software and information protection tools in the operating system will do their best to prevent the start of such software. If this is not what you aim at, make sure that your application or driver has a digital signature.
11 May 2018
StarForce Technologies in its line of products and online services has another interesting family of solutions, which may not have been heard by everyone. Today I want to introduce you them if you did not know anything, or update your memories if you have forgotten something.
We are talking about the ASPack Software products: ASPack, ASProtect 32 and ASProtect 64. Unlike StarForce ProActive, these ones are affordable for any software developer. That's why it can be interesting.
23 Mar 2018
Software licensing is used to protect the developer’s intellectual property (copyright) and to specify how the end users can use the software. Licensing helps the developer or the publisher protect their software products from piracy (i.e. illegal software distribution and use) and from software changing (the publishers of online games are fighting with cheaters and the developers of corporate systems are not interested their clients to change the code on their own).
Software licensing implies creating a license agreement and restricting the software use in some way.
15 Feb 2018
If you received files with an unfamiliar SFMEDIA extension and don't know what to do with them, so our article is written especially for you. This file type was developed by StarForce Technologies to protect video files using the SFContent.com service. You can open SFMEDIA files in the StarForce Player app, which is available for downloading and installing on devices operated under Windows (x86, x64) and macOS.
Files of this format are protected videos and audios. Protected means they can’t be played without entering a license key that the publisher provides along with the files.
29 Jan 2018
Among our clients, there are often companies that have just created their products, as well as companies that decided to sell a product they have created for themselves. First, of course, they need to protect their software from copying, hacking and modification, but they want to tell the world about the new product and arrange product sales as well.
At StarForce Technologies, we focus on the tools to protect software from a wide range of threats. All StarForce products provide protection from reverse engineering and modification. We offer a C/C++ source code obfuscator that works as a syntax analyzer. StarForce Crypto allows you to prevent the hacking and unauthorized use of executable files. You can implement protection from copying and illegal distribution with the help of DRM.
21 Dec 2017
One of the key functions of the SFContent.com security system is the protection against screen capturing by software methods (by Print Screen function or specialized software capable to provide screen copying).
Depending on the operating system, the service uses several ways to combat the screen grabbing and video recording for the users' convenience and to increase the level of security.
14 Nov 2017
I have taken to mountaineering a couple of years ago. I am currently mastering the five-thousanders of the Caucasus; the plan is to climb the seven-thousanders of the Pamirs. Each time before the trip, the members of the crew are debating.
Should we take helmets? Or is it just added weight? Should we take ice drills for the safety stations, in case someone falls in a crevasse? But this adds 300g per person.
Or we’ll better to stick to the rope team. Appeals to security reasons and references to statistics of accidents are not always convincing. We are sure bad things will never happen to us.
27 Oct 2017
DRM (Digital Rights Management) is a system that allows you to control access to digital content and applications. DRM enables the technical part for licensing the digital content, software, games, etc.
The purpose of DRM is to provide access to the product for the users who have bought it, and to block access for those who do not have the legal right to use your content. DRM usually includes copy protection as well as different restrictions for example, time or area limitations.
27 Sep 2017
I mostly use Outlook to work with emails and from time to time I feel a necessity to track the opening of my emails by the addressees. There are a lot of email trackers for Gmail but only a few are capable to work with the Windows client correctly. The idea of email trackers is old enough to invent tools to block email trackers. For example the Ugly email service detects components of some trackers and on the site you can see what trackers can be blocked.
And sometimes cruel monetization comes, as it happened with Signals when a CRM absorbed the tracker and now it is available only as a part of a big system on chargeable basis. So search of a good tracker never stops.
29 Aug 2017
Many business areas have found analogues on the Internet. This also applies to the book selling. In the physical world, only the fact of sale is important and further pirated reproduction is a laborious and thankless task. We cannot say the same about electronic books, since there is a risk of copying and leakage due to the digital form, which significantly reduces sales. Authors and publishers must ask themselves - how can I can track the fact that my electronic book has leaked into free access and what should I do in this case?
14 Jul 2017
Suppose, you have written a wonderful book and ready to present it to your potential readers. Unless you are Joanne Rowling, you have to struggle through competition and information noise to reach your reader. Follow our advice and your book will be successful!
28 Jun 2017
On the assumption of our practice more than 40 percent of the implemented by our company projects on the software security of automatic teller machines (ATMs) and self-service terminals is post incident. In years 2014-2016 within the Russian Federation's territory more than 30 incidents occurred, generally the “direct dispense” attacks to ATMs in two scores of banks. A range of banks suffered from repeated series of attacks, the resources for implementing on-line counter measures on the territory-distributed area network were not enough.
23 May 2017
We ourselves are a part of the fan army who likes to play old computer games and it does not matter what it is: nostalgia for the past or appealing to the ageless classics. The main thing is that we send the owners of games without patches to the technical support of publishers, and they return them to us by boomerang, incorrectly stating that only we can solve this technical problem.
19 May 2017
Developers and creators of information products, as a rule, are interested in selling content through their own websites; however, the development of websites is not an easy task even for experienced users. This is a how-to article for those, who are not familiar with the technologies of website building.
18 Apr 2017
As you may know, StarForce protection system uses a tool called "binding" to provide a tamper resistant protection along with many other features.
31 Mar 2017
We live in a world full of threats. And our mission is to reduce the threat level for publishers: people and companies that create unique content for sale. Using our products, they get the confidence that their applications, courses, books will be sold, instead of being downloaded for free from pirate sites.
In March 2017 StarForce Technologies presented copy protection with a binding to USB Flash Drives. In this post I am going to tell why we have selected a binding method for copy protection and how it works for USB Flash Drives.
21 Feb 2017
In mid-2016 one of the servers of Hitachi Payment Systems was attacked by malicious software, by which the criminals got data from the ATMs of State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and Axis Bank. Currently, 19 banks and 641 customers noticed fraudulent activities with the cards. To reduce risks the banks have blocked compromised cards and advised its customers to change the PIN.
9 Feb 2017
If you create unique software products or documents, it is natural to have a wish to control their distribution. There are many tools to protect information from unauthorized actions of unscrupulous users. One of them is the periodic license confirmation.
23 Jan 2017
28 Dec 2016
New Year is not just a night after which we hang a new calendar on the wall. It’s time to take stock and set new tasks.
20 Dec 2016
Protection is most often necessary for professional documents. For example analytical agencies, design offices and other companies offering intellectual and creative products as a rule give the customers their documents in a protected format to prevent unauthorized use and sharing. For businesses it is also important to provide protection against document forgery, certain documents need to stay unchanged forever.
However, protection against copying and editing can also be useful for personal purposes, for example, when you wrote a book, prepared a unique learning course, or if you provide consulting services. It means that such functionality can be useful to anyone who develops any intellectual products and wants to control their distribution.
26 Oct 2016
PDF is one of the most popular formats for electronic documents. The only drawback is that you need to install additional software to read documents. So what is the program can deal with it in the best way?
27 Sep 2016
According to McKinsey Global Institute report 2 billion individuals and 200 million micro, small, and midsize businesses in emerging economies today lack access to savings and credit. Remote banking could increase the GDPs of all emerging economies by 6 percent, or a total of $3.7 trillion, by 2025. This growth includes benefits from the use of digital finance instead of traditional, and investments in business development in this area that in its turn will create up to 95 million new jobs across all sectors of the economy.
22 Sep 2016
Do you want to protect emailings intended for a limited number of recipients from being forwarded to third parties and monitor & control the number of times the mails are opened?
25 Jul 2016
Every company has a range of tasks connected with protection of electronic documents from leakage and unauthorized use. And now BYOD became a serious threat because it blurs the perimeter of the enterprise information system. A company can forbid using mobile devices but it entails slowing business processes in the short term and loss of income in the long term. There is also a necessity to share different documents with people outside the perimeter, e.g. auditors, stakeholders, partners, consultants. Is there a possibility to continue to control documents which have left the company’s border?
29 Jun 2016
StarForce became famous thanks to reliable game protection against piracy. And for today publishers and developers of games are our main clients. Some statistics for you: last month we had about 50000 activations all over the world and 87% of it is related with games.
19 May 2016
Recently I hit on the article “Who's downloading pirated papers? Everyone” published in Science Journal. The author reveals the story of Sci-Hub, a pirate website where everyone could find and download articles from leading science journals.
30 Mar 2016
Google Play, the largest store of Android apps, provides authorization, storefront, billing system and file delivery. When a user buys an app, he or she gets a standard file without personalization or binding to the device. Thus, if the developer had ignored the question of licensing and protection, the APK file downloaded from Google Play can be copied to different devices without restrictions and subsequently propagate freely.
This problem is also painful for the corporate segment. The popularity of the BYOD approach made corporate developers create special versions of their solutions for mobile devices, e.g. CRM or ERP. These applications as a rule are free for downloading but developers want to control the code integrity and usage of the license with the help of reliable tools, e.g. a DRM system.
1 Feb 2016
In 2008 at the Valve's summit on the state of PC gaming in Seattle, president Gabe Newell revealed that his company is not concerned about the threat of piracy in the PC market, including in territories like China and Russia. He said that Valve's Steam distribution platform and the service it provides its customers protects it from privacy. In addition, gamers are interested in an ongoing relationship with Steam and if they are caught pirating, they risk losing all their purchased games as well as the possibility to participate in multiplayer games.
21 Dec 2015
The question about the need for protection is always open. There are publishers who think that protection can have a negative effect on the user experience and that gamers might be put off a game because of it. Potentially that might be fatal at current levels of competition. Development of platforms like Steam also points to the possibility that publishers don’t need additional protection. But it is still here. StarForce protection is part of many modern games and a typical user will never know about it. The protection has become silent and invisible.
14 Dec 2015
The developers of StarForce protection system despite their hardcore reputation are also have some very good human characteristics. Especially when the talk is about cats. Or kittens. Or kittens in trouble. You may say please get to the point and so I will.
7 Dec 2015
You may question if it is a good thing to write about a hacking incident because it could harm the company’s reputation. Of course hacking is a bad thing. But it is not always that bad. There are white hat hackers who find vulnerabilities to improve a security system and may be… to find a new job.
30 Nov 2015
Only a person who is really light years distant from ‘a galaxy far, far away’ fails to see an association between StarForce and Star Wars. The first episode of the Star Wars saga was released in 1999 and that was just when our protection system was being created with an intensive software effort. According to the memoirs of contemporaries the release of the film was a big event for all who felt they could be intimate with Luke Skywalker on Fridays and Darth Vader on Mondays. We felt it too and there was а ‘Star Wars’ poster on the wall of the room where the intensive system design was progressing and this poster gave us a special atmosphere.
1 Sep 2015
Though school years are far away the process of studying never ends: today it is a new gadget, tomorrow we will study how to cook a new dish, the day after tomorrow it will be a new application and who knows what else? As well we need constantly to improve our professional skills to raise our market price as an employee. That is why we study foreign languages, digital marketing and get MBA.
14 Jul 2015
Files with .SFPDF extension can be opened with a special viewer program - StarForce Reader. Actually the name of the expansion comes from the words StarForce and PDF: SF + PDF.
29 Apr 2015
Today let’s talk about protection for cloud services and business applications. You can ask: “Do they really need it? There is no piracy threat for them”. But it’s not so easy. Even if your customers are large well-known companies it doesn't mean that they refuse to consume more service than what they have purchased. For example why not to increase a number of connected workstations or to install your program in a new office without paying a penny? And what is worse they can rework the product according to their needs without saying a word. We can see a lot of examples of this kind now when we live in economic mode.
9 Apr 2015
The idea of information protection is actual at all times. And it is often necessary to protect not only a document that is kept in a safe or on secured server but as well a message that leaves the confines of the company. For example it can be an email after important business meeting where you have discussed secret conditions and technological processes. How did people exchange secret messages during the World War II and how can it be done now?
17 Feb 2015
Late last year it was reported that China blocked access to Gmail email service. The political situation in the world is becoming more intense. So users from different counties should have a fallback position to provide availability of their communication channels. Speaking about Google's mailer many people use this service not only as an alternative personal mailbox, but as a true corporate service that serves the real economy, including companies selling equipment for the oil industry and other strategic industries.
Now we are not going to discuss reasons for selecting Gmail as a corporate standard. Usually they explain it because of lack of resources and qualified staff. However let’s imagine that you urgently need to move from Gmail. What should you think of?
4 Feb 2015
Personal data has exceptional value for hackers. In 2014, hackers discredited information of user accounts of many major services, as Sony PlayStation Network, Gmail.com, Mail.ru, Yandex.ru, Xbox Live, HTC, McDonalds, AT&T, China Railways and many others. Today we want to talk about how to keep security of personal information in cyberspace.
Many of today's security systems are based on the protection of personal information of users, so data leakage can potentially weaken the level of security for not only a specific individual user or site, but the Internet in general.
Each violation of security leads to leakage of personally identifiable information and has a cumulative effect. The Internet stores a huge set of personal data that hackers can steal and form with it the full profiles for each user in the Internet. Cyber thieves can get access to a personal account on websites or bank accounts with just a few parts of stolen personal data.
15 Jan 2015
Every company owns sensitive information that needs to be protected. First of all it is a client base but also there are know-hows, credentials, personal information and other documents the leakage of which could cause a lot of troubles for business owners. How do companies cope with this?
History knows many facts when a unique technology died together with the last person who knew the production secret: Damascus steel, Greek fire. The reasons for this could be different but the main one is the absence of wish to document the production process on paper because of fear to lose the secret. To describe the production process in details and arrange employee training is crucial now. So it is necessary to find some other way to protect information instead keeping it in top secret.
31 Oct 2014
Cybercrime is a large and profitable business. According to the report published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and McAfee in June 2014, the annual economic cost of cybercrime is $475 billion and growing. The growth must be connected the increasing productivity of cybercriminals.
Now let’s talk about the asset of this business. In August there was information that CyberVor had created a database of 4.5 billion stolen Internet credentials. For now it is the largest base of this kind. It includes 1.2 billion login and password combinations and more than 542 million e-mail addresses.
What do you think about these figures? It turned out that that the stolen Internet credentials are one-sixth of the world’s Internet credentials. But the most interesting part is how CyberVor could obtain this data and what it means for global cyber security.
9 Oct 2014
In this article we will talk about tools (services), which for free or at minimal cost can solve any company's problems with sending messages by email, including making mass mailing, opening tracking and protection of confidential documents.
Email allows you to send and receive messages and attachments instantly. This type of communication has become fundamental in the business world, thanks to the speed of delivery on the one hand and an opportunity to study the contents and prepare an answer carefully on the other.
Outgoing messages can be divided into two groups: the first group includes emails that require an answer and the second group consists of informational messages (sometimes marked as For Your Information, FYI), that do not need to be answered. Even small sized companies prepare informational mailings with different content from time to time. It can be company news, partner digest, notifications for personnel, etc.