One of the world's leading software protection companies is calling on multinational organisations to be more vigilant - and proactive - about the increasing risk of becoming victims of cyber crime.
The warning, from StarForce Technologies, follows confirmation by global software producer Symantec that the source code for two of its anti-virus products has been stolen. The code is essentially a blueprint for Symantec products and, potentially, offers both hackers and rivals an insight into the company's technologies.
A group known as the Lords of Dharmaraja has claimed responsibility for the hacking. Media reports state that the group discovered the source code during a hack conducted on military and intelligence servers belonging to the Indian government.
Reports mention the presence of source codes belonging to a 'dozen software companies'. The hackers claim these companies signed agreements with the Indian government which gave them access to the code.
Symantec has played down the risks, claiming that the exposed code was several years old and that one of the products involved has been discontinued. However, the incident underlines the vulnerability of organisations, especially multinational institutions, to cyber criminals and the need to invest in the most highly-effective software protection systems.
Software development and digital content protection pioneers have for some time been warning of the political and financial implications of the escalating cyber attacks on high-profile institutions.
StarForce Technologies says further attacks on global institutions are inevitable which makes further major investment in high-effective security protection more essential than ever before.
Dmitry Guseff, deputy marketing director of StarForce Technologies, said: "One can only imagine the implications when hackers develop malware that can circumvent security barriers - as in this latest incident with Symantec products.
"A major concern when software is stolen or source codes are compromised is that anti-virus solutions end up in the hands of rivals. Once a source code is exposed like this, it becomes easier for hackers to circumvent the code altogether or to severely restrict its effectiveness."
StarForce Technologies says that what Symantec is describing as a breaching of a 'third party entity' will have a significant impact on cost and reputation for the world's largest security software producer, best known for developing the Norton anti-virus software.
"We all have to learn from serious incidents like these," said Dmitry Guseff. "No one is going to stop them or wave a magic wand to prevent cyber crime but organisations – especially the world's largest enterprises – must be more vigilant with their high-level information protection and security safeguards.
"An integrated and innovative approach is essential to make life much tougher for cyber criminals. Source code obfuscation is an approach that StarForce recommends to raise significantly the levels of security resistance.
"To considerably hamper software being analysed by hackers we protect its code and obfuscate algorithms to make it impracticable, and sometimes even impossible, for hackers to decipher product source codes or to understand how the software works."
StarForce Technologies uses several anti reverse-engineering technologies including:
- Program code virtualisation
- Protection against debuggers
- Integrity self checks
- Protection against modifications of application.
With help of StarForce Crypto product every company can secure its source code against studying. For more than 10 years StarForce have been successfully developing and implementing state-of-the-art software solutions providing effective corporate information security worldwide.
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.