PC Guard protection is applied directly to compiled applications such as .EXE, .DLL and .OCX files by wrapping them into security envelope. This means that almost any kind of application can be protected regardless of programming language used.
By default, no additional programming and source code editing is required. Protection process is simple and effective: set project settings accordingly to your requirements and click on Protect! button to encrypt application.
Application is encrypted during protection process and our protection code is embedded into it. Security envelope consist of large number of encryption layers and anti-debugging, anti-reverse engineering code and contains all protection functions.
Protection code will gain control on startup, check license status, demo limitations, application integrity, initialize required data, decrypt protected application and pass control to it. Protected application is not dumped to disk at any time.
Regardless of selected protection method standard protection is always applied to application during protection process.
Standard protection includes:
- wrapping (application is wrapped into security envelope)
- encryption (application is encrypted)
- anti-debugging (special anti-debugging code is embedded into protected application)
- anti-decompilation (application can not be decompiled)
There are four main protection methods: PLAIN, REMOTE, NETWORK and USB.
Here is how available protection methods are related to standard protection:
PLAIN protection method = Standard protection
REMOTE protection method = Standard protection + Machine locking + Activation
NETWORK protection method = Standard protection + Network licensing
USB protection method = Standard protection + USB locking
Machine locking is the process of locking (linking) protected application to remote computer in order to prevent illegal usage on multiple computers. There are seven different locking parameters (locks) which can be set as mandatory and/or flexible in machine locking settings.
Effective machine locking requires software activation process. Software activation represents exchange of keys (activation codes) between software author and end user. End user is submitting site/mid codes to software author and software author is providing appropriate activation code based on these codes back to end user.
Protection process with PC Guard software protection system usually includes the following steps: