Historical Overview of Information Security

A long time ago I was visited by the idea of ​​telling about the history of software protection, namely, games.
The idea was born in connection with the desire to get to Habr couple of years ago. With the advent of RO - accounts, the idea arose again and only now I decided to share this article.

It has been known for a long time about copying foreign intellectual property: artists copied the canvases of great masters, culinary specialists searched for recipes of other people's dishes, and singers sang foreign songs. In this regard, there was a need to protect information.

Vinyl plates and video cassettes were easy to rewrite. With the development of technology and the advent of the digital age, the ability to save content has increased, which in turn has affected the quality of the product.

With the advent of floppy disks, software methods for their protection also appeared, such as FMT256, FMT81TRK and others. They did not receive sufficient distribution, computer technologies were not yet mass and serious and large-scale measures to protect them were not required.

After the advent of CDs, the problem began to emerge more clearly. A growing number of people became involved in high technology and copying music began to seriously worry many record companies.

In 2002, in order to avoid copying the immortal hits of many musicians, the companies came up with an interesting move: deliberate errors were made in the music records released on the discs, which led to the disc being read on home devices, but not when playing on the computer.

Such discs did not play on many drives and did not have the Compact Disc Digital Audio logo.

Later, such a scheme was abandoned, but attempts to come up with something new continue so far, starting with a deliberate decrease in sound quality on the reproducing device, ending with monstrous programs supplied with an audio disc. For example, Sony created a program that was installed on a user's computer and was essentially a rootkit.

And what happened on the software market? One time nothing. Games were sold without protection, but this did not last long, because With the development of the Internet and the capabilities of ordinary people, manufacturers have introduced measures to protect information.

At first it was local information protection, i.e. It was required to enter the serial number to use the game or program. Now this is no longer relevant and is used only in conjunction with other methods, or on products not in demand.

But this method did not justify itself. What did you come up with? That's right, they came up with the fear and horror of many players.
Copy protection systems are protection drivers that, when installed in the system, prevent copying. This sounds good, but the performance has let us down.

There are many such systems: SecuROM, SafeDisc, CD-RX Tages, etc. The most outstanding for many players can be considered StarForce.

This scary software killer, installed on your system, could do anything from a system crash to a drive failure. But some time passed and these errors were corrected - StarForce was used less frequently to protect games, and in recent versions it itself has become not so terrible. But such protections often cost a simple emulation of the drive.

The rejection of such protection systems was due to the emergence and widespread use of broadband Internet access. Failure is certainly not universal, because games with similar protective measures are still encountered.

There was a key check when connecting to the Internet, an increase in the number of games with the ability to play on the network, where authentication took place (battle.net, etc.).

For many players, this was a good incentive to purchase a licensed product. But piracy could not be stopped - pirated servers appeared or players were content with trimming games without a network part. Games were hacked in spite of all the disk protection options, and then the smart guys from Ubisoft decided on an interesting step. They did not make copy protection, they made it so that the game could not start without connecting to their server. That is, throughout the game, the player had to be connected to the Internet.

The game that created such a precedent was Assassin's Creed II. On the day sales began, the Ubisoft server was broken, the gaming community was indignant, and even after solving this problem, the stability of the game did not improve. Although one should give credit to this approach, a playable version on the Internet did not appear soon.

But this protection system did not justify itself, and soon it was abandoned.
It seems to me now many developers and publishers of games are beginning to understand that you need to chase not for the huge castles that hide their product. You need to chase the quality and quantity of those pluses and bonuses that a person who buys a game receives, and not download it. It can be anything from an in-game social network to an achievement table. This should be timely support for the game and the ability to run any game in demo mode.

I think money will pay for a quality product, and then our leisure and work will not be overshadowed by many unnecessary things.

So ended a short excursion into the history of Defense. I would like to highlight each method separately, but it already draws on a series of articles, maybe in the future I will master this.

For help in writing this article, I thank Wikipedia.

Also popular now: