Automatic Software Protection

Microcosm's Shell method is a simple way to automatically add copy protection to your software without having to modify the source code. Code is automatically added to your software which locks it to a licence inside a security key. The security key can be a hardware security dongle (Dinkey Pro/FD) or a purely software-based key (CopyMinder). This process is fast but also very secure because it includes many different protection strategies.

Software copy protection solution performs a security check at startup

Security Check

When your software is first launched it will check for the presence of a valid security key. If it is not found then your program will terminate with an error message, otherwise it will run as normal.

Background software protection techniques

Background Check

While the user runs your software it will continue to check for the security key at regular intervals. If the key is removed then the program is terminated (after a warning to the user).

Code and data is encrypted to prevent reverse engineering.

Encrypts Your Code and Data

The Shell method will encrypt code and data in your executable to prevent reverse engineering and protect your software IP. Additionally this protection continues while the software is being run, with large amounts of your code remaining encrypted even when your software is in memory.

Anti-debug techniques for protecting your software against reverse engineering

Anti-Debug Techniques

The Shell method employs numerous anti-debug strategies to prevent your software from being debugged when it is run.

Data files can be encrypted and decrypted using our shell-protection wrapper

Data File Encryption

You can instruct your Shell-protected software to automatically decrypt/encrypt specific data files or types of data file on read and write access. This enables you to encrypt your data files so that they can only be accessed by your protected software and not by other external programs. (This feature is available for Dinkey Pro/FD on Windows only).

Shell Protection and Software Licensing

You can use the Shell method to easily implement different software licensing models: one-off purchase, subscription, network licensing, trials/demos and pay-per-use.

However, to implement the feature-based licensing model you need to use the API method of protection instead. This involves modifying your source code to call our API. It gives you greater flexibility regarding when to check the security key and to use that to control the flow of your code. It also allows you to implement different protection techniques in your software.

For ultimate protection you can use both the API and Shell method to protect your software.

Our Software Protection Solutions

Software copy protection and licensing system using dongles to protect your software against hacking

Shell Protection - Supported by Dinkey Pro/FD

  • 32-bit and 64-bit Windows executables and DLLs
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Linux binaries and shared libraries
  • Windows .NET assemblies (C#, VB.NET) for .NET Framework 2.0 and newer or .NET Core 3.0 and newer
  • PDF files on Windows
Intelligent software copy protection and licensing solution with cloud-based admin controls

Shell Protection - Supported by CopyMinder

  • 32-bit and 64-bit Windows executables and DLLs
  • Windows .NET assemblies (C#, VB.NET) for .NET Framework 2.0 and newer or .NET Core 3.0 and newer