BitArts demonstrates gaping flaw in online retail Web sites and online credit card purchase process
London, UK – 14 August – BitArts the leaders in software theft protection today called on the UK government to launch an inquiry into software theft in the UK after it demonstrated that online software retailers are allowing multiple copies of software to be run by their customers who only purchase a single license. BitArts has not yet found any retailer online that offers a way of preventing this form of ‘shoplifting’.
BitArts claims that software publishers, online retailers and credit card merchants are at fault for adopting this flawed purchasing method.
In tests, the company was able to show that an individual could purchase a software application from an online retailer using a credit card and download the application to their PC. The application could then freely be copied onto other PCs and installed.
But this is not where the problem ends. BitArts claims that by contacting the credit card merchant after receiving the bill and explaining that a transaction was fraudulent, the customer is able to recover their costs. This approach exploits a hole in the credit card payment mechanism via the Internet enabled by the fact that the cardholder is not present during the transaction.
The Business Software Alliance, a global vendor-led organisation that monitors software theft, claims that 34 per cent of software in circulation in the UK is pirated.
According to BitArts’ chief executive Danny Chapchal: “Software theft prevention could help reduce or stop the losses that both online retailers and the software industry is currently facing globally.”
“Online retailers claim that software theft prevention should be the responsibility of the software publisher whereas in fact everyone in the supply chain should take theft prevention measures. The government needs to take a stance and investigate this issue thoroughly,” added Chapchal.
BitArts claims that software theft prevention could substantially reduce the cost of software for business and consumers by avoiding the need for software publishers to write-off losses due to theft in their balance sheet.
BitArts says the flawed purchase process also makes it possible to create pirate Warez CDs, which are typically sold on the black market at PC markets, car boot fairs and dedicated Warez Web sites.
Microsoft and other software publishers are recognising the need for online license activation as demonstrated by the theft protection mechanism applied to Windows XP.
“Such a blatant security flaw is a major issue for software publishers and their customers. Software publishers have to charge more for their software in order to counter software theft. Consequently the customer gets a raw deal when purchasing legitimate software. The software industry must adopt an effective software theft prevention mechanism or we will all continue to suffer,” said John Safa, chief technology officer, BitArts.
BitArts offers a solution for secure electronic software delivery (SESD) that prevents a user from running more than the permitted number of licenses than they purchased.
BitArts also offers a credit card e-commerce digital finger printing solution that records information unique to an individual PC as part of the transaction process. Consequently the credit card merchant is able to record details of the PC on which an e-commerce transaction is made thus stopping people defrauding Internet retailers, software vendors and credit card companies.
BitArts is a software development company that is focused primarily on the development of protection, security and encryption software providing solutions for the secure delivery of software applications and digital content, digital rights management and license management over the Internet. BitArts’ suite of products incorporate the functionality for the successful management and distribution of secure and protected software and digital content, copyright and licensing protection as well as the collection of royalties from such content.
The company was founded in 1998 by Chief Technology Officer, John Safa and now boasts an impressive management line-up which includes Danny Chapchal as CEO and Dr Cheryl Shavers, former US Undersecretary of Commerce for Science and Technology in the Clinton Administration, as Chairperson. BitArts is headquartered in Nottingham, UK with customers in more than 65 countries including Philips, Siemens, Barclays, Honeywell and Hewlett Packard. BitArts has patents pending on ten core technologies, the basis of the company’s unique digital security offering.
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