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How StarForce and SoftControl products have changed in 2018


We regularly fix errors and try to enhance the functionality of our products, as well as improve their reliability for clients and end users. In our work, we always take into account the opinion of our customers and the latest market trends. Below is the list of improvements for 2018.

StarForce products

Changes in the StarForce products affected the StarForce Content service, the viewer for protected pdf files StarForce Reader and a new, cross platform StarForce Player.

The new player allows opening the unprotected media files of all popular formats that the OS supports, as well as the protected sfmedia and sfm3u files. The player runs on macOS and ОS Windows (including Windows XP).

Since media files are often very large and StarForce Content limits the size of files for protection to 2GB, customers can now protect files larger than 2GB in Protection Studio. Conversion into .sfmedia format, which StarForce Player supports, is performed locally on user's computer without copying to the protection server. Serial numbers are still generated on the StarForce Content website.

This option allows adding watermarks to the protected files as an arbitrary text or a serial number for activation, similar to protecting with StarForce Audio/Video Player.

On Windows OS, StarForce Reader supports protection from running the files through remote terminal sessions.

StarForce Reader for Android allows users to open files from external devices and add notes to the documents.

Adding notes to the documents is also supported by StarForce Reader for iOS. Interface of the viewer is updated in order to support new screen resolution of IPhone X.

The following improvements are made on the website SFContent:

  • The service is optimized, including the website interface.
  • File protection window now contains a progress bar. When protecting video and audio files, the system displays the amount of files and the number of the file being protected.
  • Specifying random position for watermarks is supported.
  • Protecting files with long names is supported.
  • Check for invalid characters is added when generating and editing serial numbers.
  • The list of grabbers is extended.

Improvements in other products:

  • For products that use binding to USB drive, the process of generating and restoring the license file is optimized. In addition, Protection Studio supports switching USB drives into read-only mode and back. This prevents users from accidentally damaging the license file and important data.
  • Client computers can now obtain the serial number that the local server is activated with, through API. The periodic license conformation is also supported for this type of binding.
  • In StarForce Audio/Video Player, it is possible to skip questions which a user has already answered.
  • Improved operation with packed files in Protection Studio.
  • StarForce C++ Obfuscator can work with Wine.

SoftControl products

The main changes in the SoftControl products include creation of name rule groups, improved system reports and event logs, as well as export and import of client application settings.

The following changes affected the SoftControl Service Center:

  • Named rule groups are supported. Activity control rules from different categories (file system, system registry, network activity and modules) can be grouped together.
  • Activity control rules for separate applications can be created in SoftControl Admin Console and transferred to client hosts with the installed SoftControl SysWatch client applications.
  • Increased password security for SoftControl Service Center database.
  • Supported import and export of selected client application settings with the help of an XML file.

Changes in SoftControl Admin Console:

  • Improved logic for creating system reports. The groups of events are now called 'Threats' and 'Services and unsuspicious applications'. In the former case, SoftControl Admin Console logs control policy violations and the start of suspicious processes. In the latter case, SoftControl Admin Console logs service events and the start of unsuspicious processes.
  • Event logs are now more detailed and easier to understand. This includes the improved format of the information displayed in the ‘Action’ field on the ‘Log’ tab.
  • System profile on the client host with SoftControl SysWatch can be disabled through the client application settings. In addition, the update source for SoftControl SysWatch can be selected (update through either SoftControl Service Center or the Internet).
  • Identification data of a module are filled in automatically in the settings after specifying an exe file.
  • The ‘Clients’ tab contains the ‘Permanent connection status’ column to track possible disconnections.
  • Flags are supported for files on the ‘Profile data ...’ tab that indicate whether a file is added to the profile by the installer or during the profile collection process.

Changes in SoftControl SysWatch client application:

  • As with SoftControl Admin Console, system reports are made more clear and unambiguous.
  • Event logs are now more detailed and easier to understand. In particular, the report indicates whether the application is in the profile, whether it is tracked; whether the installer has a valid digital signature; whether the global software update mode is enabled, etc.
  • Logging events of control policy violation is improved. Control policy violation events are considered similar and are not logged if they have coinciding actions, binary paths, command lines, and process identifiers, as well as if the period of time after the previous event is added is less than the specified value (one minute by default). Besides, the event log contains information about how many similar events were skipped.
  • Control policy violation report contains the PID for the process that caused policy violation.
  • If the protection is turned off, all applications (both in the profile and outside of it) are given permission to run until the system service starts.
  • Increased password security for SoftControl SysWatch client components.
  • Fixed vulnerability in the msiexec installer. It is not allowed to execute the msiexec system installer from a folder that differs from % SYSTEM32%.
  • Fixed vulnerability in dll blocking algorithm (CVE-2018-5718). This vulnerability allowed local users to cause a denial of service (BSOD) or modify kernel-mode memory by loading a forged dll.
  • Updated glossary that is used in the program. In particular, the term ‘mode of operation’ is replaced to ‘software update mode’. The term ‘unknown installer’ is changed to ‘unsigned installation program’, and ‘unknown application’ is replaced by ‘non-profile application’, and so on.

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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We have released a new version of StarForce Reader for Android
We have released a new version of StarForce Reader for iOS
We have released a new version of StarForce Reader for macOS
We have released a new version of StarForce Reader for Windows
Copy protection of audios and videos for Apple macOS
Data protection on USB