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Starforce subsidiary wins investment research grant from Skolkovo foundation


A subsidiary company of StarForce Technologies has been awarded an investment grant worth $1 million to develop pioneering software protection and licensing for mobile devices.

The grant for Protection Technology Research (PTR) has been provided by the Skolkovo Foundation which is developing Russia’s flagship innovation hub Skolkovo, a new high-tech scientific research centre near Moscow.

PTR develops and markets software and content protection systems under the internationally-known StarForce brand. Some of Russia’s leading software developers and content providers are PTR customers.

The company, founded by StarForce – an international market leader in software protection against hacking and information security – is emerging as a key player in the fight against internet and software piracy.

The Skolkovo Foundation grant will be used to develop software protection and licensing for various mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. PTR will be developing a licensing system known as StarForce Mobile.

PTR has also been chosen as a ‘resident’ of Skolkovo’s IT cluster, a status which provides tax benefits and other financial incentives to help companies develop their businesses. They are aimed at attracting new high-tech start-ups to the centre which is described as Russia’s ‘Silicon Valley’.

The Skolkovo hub will host scientific and production centres and is designed as a research and development test bed for key innovation sectors including energy and energy-efficient technology, nuclear, aerospace, telecommunications, biomedicine and IT.

PTR’s prospective innovation is expected to make applications ‘hacker-proof’ at the design stage. This is likely to be achieved by making it impossible to generate phony ‘licence’ keys at the programming level.

Julia Titova, PTR business development director, said: “Protection and licensing systems for mobile platforms will provide a comprehensive, all-in-one solution for copyright owners of mobile content, developers of mobile software, publishers and distributors.

“As well as providing code protection against reverse engineering, the system will have the ability to control content and software distribution and to define distribution policy.”

The company expects its first Android-focused product will be available for market testing within the next year and believes it will develop software which will make Android devices safe within three years.

StarForce Mobile will initially support Android OS but plans in the future are concerned with multi-platform systems.

“We will have several rounds of negotiations with major world mobile device manufacturers,” said Julia Titova. “This will allow us to release the first prototype in 2013. Several Russian and international companies have expressed an interest in the project and are ready to be involved in testing.”

Alexander Turkot, chief executive of Skolkovo’s IT Cluster, says there is an urgent demand for software protection solutions.

“The demand for mobile devices is booming. Sales of smartphones and tablets now exceed desktop computers. Due to its nature, digital information is very easy to copy and distribute without the copyright owner’s knowledge.

“That’s why reliable information protection will be so important in the future.”

About StarForce Technologies

StarForce Technologies (www.star-force.com) is a leading vendor of information protection, copy protection and code obfuscation solutions for software, electronic content and audio/video files. Since 2000, StarForce has been successfully developing and implementing its state-of-the-art security solutions, providing copyright and intellectual property protection worldwide. Two of these solutions were transformed into StarForce cloud services: sfcontent.com protects e-Documents against illegal copying and distribution and sfletter.com secures emails.

StarForce is a reliable and responsible Technological Partner for enterprises potentially incurring losses due to cyber-gangs, hackers, software piracy, unauthorized data access and information leaks. StarForce’s customers are Russian Railways, Corel, 1C, Mail.ru, Aeroflot, SUN InBev Russia, AMD Labs, ATC International, MediaHouse, Russobit M, New Disc, Buka, Snowball, 2Play, GFI, CENEGA, Akella, etc.

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