prevent running an application from another pc
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Posted By:   savvas_savvas
Posted On:   Tuesday, February 26, 2002 04:37 AM

I have a stand alone application and i want to install it only in one pc.how can i prevent running this application from another pc? For example I want to read something unique on the pc that the application runs, and to prevent another pc that is not authorized to run the application

Re: prevent running an application from another pc

Posted By:   Luigi_Viggiano  
Posted On:   Tuesday, February 26, 2002 09:58 AM

Hello. I've just purchaised a standalone application that does the thing you ask for. It does the following:

  1. When started check if it has already been registered. To do so, it tries to match a license -saved in a file - and the installation key (maybe the CPU-ID or something else unique), and also the UCK (unique customer key). To read the CPU-ID (or another harware unique id) there is some sort of native DLL returning an int to Java code.
  2. If the license match with the installation key and the UCK (Unique Customer Key) the application starts properly.
  3. (else) It display an installation key and prompt the user to input license key and UCK.
  4. Buying the software you get the license automatically by mail. Then you have to provide to the customerservice the received licence and installation key provided by the application at first run.
    They replies with UCK. You can input the UCK and license matching with your installation key, and unlock the application.

It's a nice lock mechanism. JNI is not so difficult, just find in internet how to read CPU-ID or Hard Disk serial number and display it as "Installation Key"; use a sequence number to generate the license number and make a complex one-way algorithm to generate the UCK so this equation must always be true:

UCK = f(InstallationKey, License)

That's all.

I can guarantee you that native code is more difficult to crack than java .class files.


Re: prevent running an application from another pc

Posted By:   Jens_Dibbern  
Posted On:   Tuesday, February 26, 2002 07:35 AM

IMHO the only way to do that is using some sort of license server in combination with DHCP server. You can ensure that a certain MAC address gets a suitable IP address with DHCP and your license server can deny access to applications trying to contact your server from another IP address. Another rather disgusting idea is to use JNI and an Windows XP activation like process involving the pc's hardware components. Both methods btw can more or less easily be cracked.
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