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1/4/2007
09:43 AM
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Anti-Piracy Company Issues $40,000 Hacker Challenge

WIBU-Systems is offering $40,000 to the first hacker who can remove its anti-piracy software from an application. Challenge registration starts at MacWorld next week.

Hackers, crackers, and other top coders can make some quick bucks in the near future. An anti-piracy software company is challenging the hacker community for the second time to crack its product.

WIBU-Systems USA, Inc. will give $40,000 to the first person who can hack into and remove their anti-piracy software from a protected application. Techies will have six weeks to try, starting Jan. 31. Registration for the challenge kicks off at MacWorld Expo next week in San Francisco.

"We're saying to the hackers of the world, 'You've been boasting that you can remove anti-privacy systems. Here's a chance to earn bragging rights and take home 40,000 bucks if you're as good as you think you are," says John Poulson, VP of business development at WIBU-Systems, a German-based company with U.S. headquarters in Seattle.

Poulson says he's feeling pretty confidant their software can stand up to the pressure. The company has issued the challenge before with a previous product -- that time offering $4,000. He says no one broke the software so no one took home the money.

"This is 10 times more secure, so we're offering 10 times the prize money. And to be honest, if somebody can [break the security software], it would be worth it to know how they did it and maybe give them a job," he adds laughing. "If they have a few more points on their IQ, we'd like to have them on board."

To get this kind wide ranging testing done, Poulson says it would be well worth spending the $40,000. "If you've produced software that will tell an oil company where to drill a well, you wouldn't want the rascals in Albania using that for free when you can sell it for $100,000," he says, adding that they need their software to be able to protect those kinds of applications.

Registered challengers will receive an application protected with the latest WIBU-Systems anti-piracy software, along with a full software developer kit. "They can see how the software security system is put together," says Poulson. "We think our system is so secure that even knowing that they won't be able to bust through it."

The challenge will start at 6 p.m. on Jan 31 and will run till 5:59 p.m. on March 14.

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