by July 5, 2008 0 comments

Software solution providers incur huge losses due to loss of revenue as a
result from software piracy. This piracy can be in various forms, varying from
malicious counterfeiting to license infringements. For instance an application
being used concurrently by more than specified number of users, illegal copies
of the application being distributed, etc, are all causes of concern for
application vendors. To combat such threat of software piracy, which is
widespread and becoming more sophisticated, SafeNet has introduced Sentinal
Hardware Keys.

Sentinal Hardware Keys provide protection to software vendors from
unauthorised use or distribution of their proprietary applications. It provides
hardware based protection against software piracy. The Sentinal software
protection devices are USB 2.0 compliant and when attached to a computer or a
network can monitor and enforce the licensing of the software application which
have been protected using this solution. The Sentinal Keys are a suite of USB
devices called hardware keys and a software application called the Sentinal Keys
Toolkit, which is used for preparing the protection and licensing strategy and
also to program the hardware tokens. The programmed USB devices (keys) can be
distributed along with the application, which will be used to activate that
application and to enforce the licence scheme attached to that token. The
application which is protected by Sentinal Key can only be used till the Key is
attached to the computer or to a network. This way without the programmed Key
the protected application is rendered useless.

Price: Rs 1639
Meant For: IT managers and developers
Key Specs: Shell and API protection, Time based licensing, 128-bit AES
Pros: securing software, flexible licensing schemes, remote activation
and updates
Cons: Shell support for Win 32-bit exes and dlls only
Contact: SafeNet India, Noida
Tel: 0120 4020555,
SMS Buy 130686 to 56677

When using hardware tokens, hackers could sniff on the nature of data being
exchanged between protected application and its hardware token, and thus produce
clones of the tokens. The Sentinel Keys employ secure communication by using
public key cryptography and 128-bit AES encryption to encrypt the communication.
Since the key generation is highly secure and unique for each session, the
cloning of tokens can be stopped. Also the Sentinal Keys Toolkit provide feature
of Shell protection, using which the applications that are Win 32-bit
executables or DLLs can be protected without altering the source code. It also
provide business layer API protection, by which developers can use Sentinel
licensing design methods and functions into their application’s source code.
Sentical Keys can be used for protecting applications created across numerous
development environments and across different operating systems. The Sentinel
Keys have V-Clock that allows time based licence schemes like demos or
subscriptions to be deployed without depending on the system’s time and thus
preventing time tampering of the application’s usage. You can either distribute
Sentinel Protection Installer along with your application or can program your
application to call this installer to enable Sentinel Keys to work on client

Licensing an Application
We tried to protect and create a licence of a demo application created in
VB, which was to calculate value of PI upto a specified decimal place. Using the
Toolkit, we chose to the Shell protection and then created licence for one time
usage of the application. Once after the application was protected and the
Sentinel Key programmed, we tried executing the application on a separate
machine where the Sentinel Protection Installer was installed, upon attaching
the Sentinel Key the application could be used just once and after that an error
message was displayed.

Bottomline: A good option to secure and package your softwares with
flexible licensing models without spending time on development efforts for

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