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SMS & MMS Technical Forum » NowSMS Support - SMS Issues (Product Support Only) » Archive through July 14, 2005 » Protect content « Previous || Next »
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Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 03:25 pm:   

we have some persons how use a gsm modem to download content in hexadecimal format and then they send it to their clients. how can i protect my content (logo and ringtone (sms)) to prevent about this type of attack
Bryce Norwood - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Bryce

Post Number: 4543
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - 08:45 pm:   

I don't have any good answers for you here.

If you're sending out ringtones purely over SMS, there is no way to protect your content.

Using formats like Nokia Smart Messaging, EMS or SEO (Siemens), there is no way to send protected content. Recipient phones would not understand your content if you scrambled your messages in any way.

And there is no way to tell if you are sending to a modem or to a phone. (SIM cards can be easily moved even if you could.)

Using MMS or WAP Push, there is forward locking. But this is mainly intended to stop a phone recipient from forwarding your content off of their phone to their friends. A clever individual can still request your content using a modem and unprotect the content.

More advanced OMA DRM (which is NOT supported by very many phones, and is not practical for most applications today) could offer some more protection. This is where you send out the content separately from its authorisation, a separate DRM message is sent over WAP Push to enable the content. However, even with this approach, I'm not sure that a clever individual couldn't still get your content with a modem, because I don't believe there is any 2-way key exchange (and even if there were, if software for the phone could handle the key exchange, there's no reason that a clever individual couldn't implement the same exchange over a GSM modem).

So bottom line, it's a tough issue.

The only suggestions that I can offer are more practical oriented than technically oriented ...

1.) Limit what countries you are sending your content to. (Of course, if you are using premium rate SMS, your service provider should only be routing the content to destinations for which they can charge.)

2.) Limit the number of pieces of content that you will send to any one phone number. Implement daily limits, weekly limits, monthly limits. Of course, people who are trying to steal your content can use multiple different SIMs to retrieve content, but you want to make it difficult.

3.) Watermarks and identifiable signatures in more advanced content may be of some use from a legal perspective in tracing ripped off content.

Maybe others can offer some additional advice, but that's where I'd start ...


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