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Protecting Embedded Systems

Critical for Protecting the Vital Intellectual Property

Oliver Winzenried
CEO and Co-founder

Wibu-Systems, a leading provider of intellectual property protection and industrial software licensing, has launched the CodeMeter Embedded Driver 1.7 for protecting  embedded systems, programmable logic controllers (PLC) and industrial PCs. CodeMeter, a comprehensive solution against reverse-engineering, secures the embedded software by encrypting and signing the binary code. Such security mechanisms are particularly important for embedded systems in which manufacturers integrate more and more intellectual property.

The previous version of the product, called CodeMeter Compact Driver 1.6, has been rebranded as CodeMeter Embedded Driver 1.7 and offers new features and functionality that are applicable specifically for embedded systems.  New features include:

  • Option to use the Human Interface Device (HID) mode on dongles for communication with the device without displaying drive status
  • Protects the secure boot process of the embedded system
  • Dongles are supported using the File I/O interface for Linux and Android which brings secure licensing options to these markets
  • Supports the Secure Disk standard which makes it possible to read and write API-based data without the drive being enumerated by the operating system
  • Integration in VxWorks 7.0

In addition to VxWorks 7.0, the driver is available for Linux Embedded, Windows Embedded, Android and QNX, as well as for different ARM, x86 and PowerPC platforms.

The CodeMeter Embedded Driver 1.7 replaces the CodeMeter Runtime on Windows CE and has been enhanced to address the limited resources available in embedded environments. The CodeMeter AxProtector encryption tool is compatible with Windows CE and Android Systems while VxWorks and Linux systems take advantage of the CodeMeter ExProtector encryption tool which provides additional code integrity functionalities. ExProtector integrates directly into the loader of the operating system, which enables the secure boot process for the embedded system.

The driver is available for a wide variety of form factors, including both USB dongles (CmSticks) and SD, µSD, and CF memory cards (CmCards). Depending upon the support platform, manufacturers can choose the Human Interface Device (HID) or Mass Storage Mode to communicate via USB (CmSticks). In addition, CodeMeter supports the Secure Disk standard, which makes it possible to read and write API-based data without the drive being enumerated by the operating system. In VxWorks 7.0, CodeMeter is integrated into the Basic Security functionalities by default.

For licensing and protection of the software or activating certain features, the CodeMeter technology is identical for smart card based USB dongle or a SD, µSD and CF card, or even a software-based container where the license is bound to a digital fingerprint of the target system.

The CodeMeter Embedded Driver functionality is critical for protecting the vital intellectual property found in the increasingly connected world of control systems. Such interconnection is driven by Industry 4.0 as well as machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Oliver Winzenried, CEO and co-founder of Wibu-Systems, explains: “Under VxWorks and Linux, manufacturers can use our ExProtector encryption tool. By integrating the tool directly into the loader of the operating system, we provide a comprehensive protection solution, including secure boot for embedded systems.”

About Wibu-Systems

WIBU-SYSTEMS AG (WIBU®), a privately held company founded by Oliver Winzenried and Marcellus Buchheit in 1989, is an innovative security technology leader in the global software licensing market.

Wibu-Systems’ comprehensive and award winning solutions offer unique and internationally patented processes for protection, licensing and security of digital assets and know-how to software publishers and industrial manufacturers who distribute their applications through PC-, embedded-, mobile- and cloud-based models. 

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