To: Prof. Jason Ellis
From: Roshel Babayev
Subject: Expanded Definition of Protection
I’m writing to elaborate on the definition of the word protection. Protection is a very valuable thing in today’s day and we must understand where it came from and how it works. There will also be valuable examples of how it is used via real world examples and the main purpose of protection. Following will be discussed the context in which it is most commonly used in the use case of computer security.
The generic definition of the word protection is to stop something but that’s not how it’s classified everywhere. Merriam webster defines this word as “to cover or shield from exposure, injury, damage, or destruction : GUARD”  while others define it as “the action of protecting”. This word has been around since the beginning of time but in many different forms either being utilized as a means to define protection for a person or today where we use it as a means to describe computer security. The article provides some additional insight on the word “Historically, software protection first appeared as (often feeble) attempts at adding license-checking code to computer games, followed by algorithms for white-box cryptography used for digital-media piracy protection” . Protection has shifted from initially being used in real world situations to digital scenarios as the world gradually moves into the digital age. While protection does have the same meaning behind its definition, the use case in which the definition is applied does in fact change.
Security has always been an issue when it comes to software. Most software developers may not even know this but as they proceed in their development process, some vulnerabilities may be in place. A good way to hide these issues is to prevent others from seeing how the code works and functions as a whole. As long as the software is utilized in its intentional manner, there are no real issues to worry about. But there are always people who seek to break and destroy for their own reasons and for these purposes, protection for software was created. Not only doe protection prevents piracy of software, it also attempts to prevent others from reversing it and discovering vulnerabilities within it. Malicious users often times use these methods as a means to gain access to other people’s systems via a vulnerability they never even knew about.
There are many ways to protect a piece of software. There are means through tamper-proof the software which allows software to verify its own integrity to prevent any sort of unauthorized modification from occurring which can lead to malicious purposes for either reversing of said software or preventing hijacked software from executing. Watermarking is also a possibility to keep your software out of the wrong hands so that if it ever does get publicly exposed, you’ll know where the origin came from and you can handle the problem and prevent it from happening again. There are many methods that you can use to ensure software security via protection but protection has multiple uses either for anti-piracy means or for preventing reversing for malicious purposes. Using software protection may be expensive at times but more than often the cost of security provided by such services is just worth it.
Some people decide to store valuable information within their software such as including a login to their remote server to perform some action on user login or other events. This login is shipped to everyone who obtains access to this software and nothing is really stopping them from just obtaining this login especially when more than often, it’s stored in plain text. Using software protection ensures that even if someone has your software, it protects valuable pieces of information such as this. In practical usage this is obviously a terrible idea to ship software with such valuable information but things like this do happen quite often in the real development world.
A software developer should always be aware of any and all issues that may arise from their code. As a secondary means to prevent any sort of malicious execution, applying protection to your code will ensure an additional level of security as the malicious user will first need to get passed that layer of protection before having the chance at manipulating your code. Protection comes in many forms and there are many ways to protect but in the end, it’s a never ending war.
 Falcarin, Paolo et al. “Software Protection.” IEEE software 28.2 (2011): 24–27.