hardware key


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hardware key

[′här‚dwer ‚kē]
(computer science)

hardware key

Also called a "dongle," it is a software copy protection device that plugs into the USB port of the computer. Upon startup, the application looks for the key and will run only if the key contains the appropriate code. Typically used for expensive software, hardware keys offer very effective copy protection because they cannot be easily duplicated.

Earlier Keys Dangled
The first hardware keys plugged into the serial or parallel ports. Because there was only one serial and one parallel port on the computer, the key acted as a pass-through so that other keys and peripheral devices could connect. In fact, the nickname "dongle" was derived from multiple hardware keys "dangling" off the port. See DMCA and dongle.


An Earlier Parallel Key
Earlier parallel port keys provided a pass-through so that additional keys or devices could be plugged in. The photo (top) shows the electronics inside. (Top image courtesy of SafeNet, Inc., www.safenet-inc.com)


An Earlier Parallel Key
Earlier parallel port keys provided a pass-through so that additional keys or devices could be plugged in. The photo (top) shows the electronics inside. (Top image courtesy of SafeNet, Inc., www.safenet-inc.com)
References in periodicals archive ?
Software protection solutions almost always involve sending a license, either a hardware key or an electronic license, or even a paper license, to the end user.
AppOnChip is a fully automated process for binding a Sentinel hardware key to protected software by forcing selected pieces of code to execute on the key.
20: Cryptographic Token Interface Standard -- Support for numerous cryptographic algorithms -- Public key: RSA, DSA, DH -- Symmetric key: AES, DES, TDES, RC2, RC4 -- Hash algorithms: SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512, MD2, MD5 -- Full key lifecycle support -- Digital certificate management -- Support for both software and hardware key protection
A special service interface at the front of this flexible switch provides a number of options to configure the Ethernet channels individually via a hardware key, a Telnet command line interface or SNMP, without opening the system itself.
A new software licensing method incorporates a hardware key for each tester in the form of a USB Stick, which can be transferred from workstation to workstation for fast repair times.
It offers network shareable hardware key protection and high-performance digital signing for critical security applications.
This entails protecting the software by embedding security algorithms in the code at the development stage, tying in with tools that are involved in marketing and distribution stages, and locking it to either a hardware key or to an electronic software key on the host machine.
A real-time, on-key clock prevents tampering with time settings, while on-chip 128-bit AES encryption ensures a robust link between the application and the hardware key.
Through on-chip 128-bit AES encryption a robust link between the application and the hardware key is ensured, while a secure communication channel between HASP HL Drive and the application offers powerful resistance to middle layer attacks.
The AES family are fully compliant with Advanced Encryption Standard, and include hardware key expansion.
NASDAQ:SFNT), setting the standard for information security, today announced that Smartvue Corporation, a leader in wireless IP video solutions, has chosen SafeNet Sentinel Hardware Keys to secure the company's leading IP video surveillance solution, SecureVue.
NASDAQ:SFNT), setting the standard for information security, today announced the release of Sentinel Hardware Keys for Linux platforms, allowing software developers in the Linux community to protect 32-bit software applications from piracy and implement flexible licensing models.

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