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Copy Protection for SCORM Packages

Natalia Yashenkova
Natalia Yashenkova
Head of Marketing and PR at StarForce Technologies.

Natalia Yashenkova has more than 15 years experience in software development and information security. Before StarForce Technologies she worked at Netris and Vimcom Optic.

18 Aug 2016

SCORM is one of e-learning standards. It is well-known and simple that is why many courses are based on it. SCORM courses are available via a Learning Management System (LMS) and selection of a protection method depends on what kind of LMS is used.

However, the SCORM standard does have some weaknesses and most experts admit that weak security is one of its most serious flaws. A web developer with minimal programming skills is able to crack a course to improve answers (fraud with exams) or copy it for pirate distribution.

After many years of protecting courses based on SCORM we have collected unique experience we would like to share with you.

Firstly we need to understand what kind of files a SCORM-package contains. As a rule there are HTML files with additional XML setting files and also data (flash, video, texts, pictures and interactive components).

A course is integrated into a LMS or works as a client-server model in the local network, e.g. at an educational organization. Is there a guarantee that an IT specialist who works for several schools will not copy an e-learning site for another educational center, totally free of charge?

We can cope with this threat too. The first option is to convert a SCORM package into a protected format and when a license is activated, the package is converted back to HTML and afterwards works as usual.

SCORM copy protection

The second option is to encrypt and protect a package with binding to the system where it is deployed. The data of the package is hidden in a special container that provides protection during delivery and operation. Access to the container can be gained only after license activation. This method is more effective than the first one, because a SCORM package stays copy protected all the time, even after activation.

Reliable SCORM copy protection

After the protection has been set up, users are not able to copy files or to modify them.

The technology to hide data in a container is suitable for the protection of different e-learning products, including those which are based on AICC and Tin Can API. For more details, please contact our sales team.

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