Strategy security - old forum post


#1

02-14-2008, 1:11 AM
fanglifenguk@yahoo.co.uk

Joined on 02-14-2008
Posts 1
Could other people get the strategy which is already in my controler?

If the my stretegy already in the controler, can other people get the stretegy from the controler without noticing me?

Thanks

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02-15-2008, 12:39 PM

gmitchell

Joined on 12-01-2003
Optomation Systems, Madrid, Spain
Posts 153
Re: Could other people get the strategy which is already in my controler?

Interesting question, that if I understand correctly it is asking about the ability to copy a developed IOControl developed strategy and use it with or without the programmer’s permission.

It’s important to understand that PACControl is really a complier. After developing your program in the config mode, you need to compile it and then download it to the PAC controller. What’s running is the compiled final code and not the original source code that you see in PAC control. It is not possible for this compiled code can be uploaded to the PC again. I think this answers your question.

It is also important to understand that if you lose your source program that you developed under PAC Control, (either deleting it, PC virus or hard disk failure) the complied code running on the controller will not help you. If you want to make any changes you would have to develop a new program from nothing!

You should be aware of a configurable option in PACControl that will save an archived version of your program to the battery backed ram on the controller. This gets downloaded just after the compiled version of the program. If you configure this option (File>Strategy Options>Archive Strategy to Disk & During Download Archive Strategy and save to Flash) then PACControl automatically creates a backup copy which can later be uploaded to a PC and reused for other controllers. So if you do not want anyone to reuse your program then do not configure this option!

For your information, there is an option under PACManager to copy the IO configuration image from the IO side of a PAC controller to a PC image file or another identical I/O unit. (PAC Manager>Tools>Import/Copy IO Unit). But this only makes a copy of the IO memory map functionality (Things you see and configure in PAC Manager) and does not include the control engine program developed under PAC Control.

If the end customer requests a contractual backup copy of the application software that has been developed, there is a useful option in PAC Control to create a final control engine download file (format .cdf) that creates everything that would normally be downloaded and puts it into a single file format. This file cannot then be viewed or modified under PACControl. This can be directly downloaded to any controller using PAC Terminal without ever needing PACControl or the original program.

To avoid your program being used downloaded to another PAC controller you could check the controllers MAC Address from within your program (Read Numeric Table from I/O Unit Memory Map, Address FFFFF F030 002E Integer 6 Bytes) to check that your program is running on the CPU you developed it for. However in the case of CPU failure, the program could not be directly downloaded to a replacement CPU as the MAC address would not match.

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05-30-2008, 12:36 AM

gmitchell

Joined on 12-01-2003
Optomation Systems, Madrid, Spain
Posts 153
Re: Could other people get the strategy which is already in my controler?

Looks like Opto 22 have solved your problem in a forthcoming release of PAC_Control. “Secure Strategy Distribution" takes the normal cdb file output of a PACControl developed strategy and feeds it through an optional and licensed external utility which provides the tools to generate public and private keys used to encrypt the cdf file. The end result is a common PAC_Control strategy that only will run on specific and predefined PAC processors.

Its targeted markets are OEMS, machine manufacturers or anyone who wants to charge on a “per CPU” license for their software application.

A good solution for protecting software, which then invites the classic question, “What happens if my PAC controller would fail and I need to replace it?”

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08-12-2008, 9:31 AM

Mr. Bill

Joined on 09-23-2003
Posts 18
Re: Could other people get the strategy which is already in my controler?

PAC Project 8.2 has support for Secure Strategy Distribution, or SSD for short. For details, go to www.opto22.com, and search for 1780, which is the form number of the SSD Data Sheet.

Here’s the direct link:

http://www.opto22.com/site/documents/drilldown.aspx?aid=3593