The idea of Product Keys is a copyright protection classic. A Product Key is a short sequence of letters and digits which may conveniently be supplied to end-users via e-mail, fax, telephone, conventional mail, or a label attached to the jewel-case of the distributed CD-ROM of the protected software product. The end-user is then required to enter the Product Key during the installation process of the software product or, in case of shareware, for transforming a shareware version of a piece of software with limited functionality into a full version.
To psychologically discourage an end-user from sharing his or her legitimately acquired Product Key with others, Licenturion Personal Product Keys can be bound to information identifying the end-user.
Asymmetric (Public Key) Cryptography
For a pirate the most elegant way to defeat a conventional Product Key scheme is to analyze the part of the protected piece of software that ensures that the sequence of letters and digits entered by the end-user constitutes a valid Product Key. The pirate is then able to determine the properties that a sequence of letters and digits must exhibit in order to be considered a valid Product Key.
In the prevailing symmetric implementation of Product Keys knowledge of these properties always enables a pirate to create matching sequences of letters and digits, i.e. sequences that possess these properties, and thus to create valid Product Keys himself or herself. Typically, the pirate then casts this knowledge into a small program known as a "key generator" or a "keygen", which he or she distributes via the Internet enabling even novice end-users to illegitimately create valid Product Keys.
The Licenturion Product Key employs an asymmetric scheme based on public key cryptography and thus offers an exceptional level of security against counterfeit Product Keys illicitly generated by software pirates.
In contrast to symmetric implementations of Product Keys even the most sophisticated analysis of the Licenturion Product Key validation functions thus does not reveal any information that could be leveraged off to illegitimately create valid Product Keys. Hence, the threat of key generators is reliably eliminated. Although Licenturion Product Keys apply securely parametrized public key cryptography they consist of only 32 letters, as in
This compactness greatly simplifies the handling of Product Keys. This is the rocket science part of our solution, as we believe that RSA and Elliptic Curves would not provide a sufficient level of security with Product Keys that short.
Licenturion Product Key technology is available as a static library, a dynamic link library (DLL), or a COM component containing the functionality required to validate Product Keys.
Key generation and distribution
Vendors simply download ASCII files with Licenturion Product Keys from the Licenturion vendor server via an encrypted HTTP connection.
Alternatively vendors can license the Key Generator on a yearly basis and generate an unlimited amount of Product Keys.
Static and dynamic libraries implementing Licenturion® Product Key technology are available for Windows 95 / 98 / ME / NT 4.0 / 2000 / XP.