Stopping Piracy

Hi,

Is there any way I can prevent my employees from stealing Windows or Office keys, infact even other softwares keys.
There are free tools available which can recover the product keys.

Thanks,

.
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glottisAsked:
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r-kCommented:
Can you explain a bit more about your position. How many employees, what type of environment, and what are the employees doing with the stolen keys.

In general you can't prevent something like this by technical means. I would suggest setting a written policy about what is not allowed, and spell out the problem and consequences. If the numbers are small enough, have a direct talk with the offenders.
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Rich RumbleSecurity SamuraiCommented:
Not likely... espically if they have admin rights on those PC's. Also, there is no standard to how those keys are stored on a PC... Some programs use the registry, some write the key to a file in the program directory, some keep a hash of the key in the registry or a file... Often, opening a program, and going to the "about" dialogue reveals the key and or it's hash... Policies are a good place to start, try having a look through these: http://www.sans.org/resources/policies/
Windows keeps a (reversable!) hash of the the activation-key when you go to "my computer -> properties" as well as it's office products revealing the hash of the key's in the about box...
-rich
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glottisAuthor Commented:
r-k: its fairly a simply company with not so many employees, and rules have been set and clearly written on the contract as well that no part of company property may be taken out or used outside the company untill specified. HOWEVER there may still be some who are lured to the dark side, and may pirate the keys.

rich:
none of the employees will have admin rights, apart from the admin himself. but there are thrid party softwares which can reveal your windows installation key and office key, though the software clearly says that it is to be used for backup purpose only.
and yes i understand that some reveal the key in their about box, some store in file. is there no way you can controll any of these... i am in the process of emailing the companies of these softwares also to get an answer.

thanks for the help.
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glottisAuthor Commented:
r-k: its fairly a simply company with not so many employees, and rules have been set and clearly written on the contract as well that no part of company property may be taken out or used outside the company untill specified. HOWEVER there may still be some who are lured to the dark side, and may pirate the keys.

rich:
none of the employees will have admin rights, apart from the admin himself. but there are thrid party softwares which can reveal your windows installation key and office key, though the software clearly says that it is to be used for backup purpose only.
and yes i understand that some reveal the key in their about box, some store in file. is there no way you can controll any of these... i am in the process of emailing the companies of these softwares also to get an answer.

thanks for the help.
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r-kCommented:
Well, you may want to send a periodic reminder about your policy by e-mail to all the employees. If it is the odd person installing software on their home machines, you're not going to be able to stop that entirely, any more than you can stop them from making personal calls at work.

If you suspect widespread abuse you'll have to confront and warn the employees more directly.

In the end this is more an employee management/discipline/environment question and less a technical question.

Good luck.
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glottisAuthor Commented:
yeah true ... but just wanted to know if there are any technical way to stop it.

thanks for the help.
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