Wow, what a busy week. We are so close to our release, so I’ve been finishing off remaining features, fixing last-minute bugs and ensuring our software is stable and most importantly, secure.
One of the things we and many others have struggled with in the past and present is being able to keep customers coming and pirates away. Our software uses a secure dongle system to prevent piracy, but with computers becoming faster and more powerful, security that may have been strong a few years ago are now crumbling. Just like DES and MD5, crackers are a looming threat to most desktop software nowadays, especially those with subscription systems and hefty price tags.
This release, I have been working closely with the lead developer to increase the level of security in our application – although I think all of us know that the more we secure our software, the stronger the crackers will come firing back. As someone who has studied cryptography and computer security in university, I know first-hand the thrill of reverse engineering and forcibly accessing what we aren’t supposed to access (in a controlled environment of course). While I was what you call a “white-hat” hacker (one who hacks ethically with the goal of finding weak security), “black-hat” hackers are those who break in in order to gain profit – whether it through be free software or by reselling cracked applications. Now that I am on defense, I can’t help but feel excited – excited to wear my white hat once again.