Assessment of Dongle-based Software Copy Protection Combined with Additional Protection Methods

  • A. Liutkevicius Kaunas University of Technology
  • A. Vrubliauskas Kaunas University of Technology
  • E. Kazanavicius Kaunas University of Technology


Dongle is a hardware device which is bound with software application in such way, that application functions only if dongle is plugged in. The most modern dongles are able to hide some parts of application's code and execute this code directly inside the dongle, but today's market has a lot of dongle types, which are not able to execute code. This paper presents our investigation regarding evaluation of software protection using dongles without code execution ability. Commercial dongle is used for the case study, combining it with well known software protection methods to hide application communication with dongle. The experimental results show that even inexperienced attackers can quite easily break dongle without code execution protection using widely known tools and information found on Internet. Ill. 4, bibl. 11, tabl. 1 (in English; abstracts in English and Lithuanian).