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DHS S&T Applies Mobile App Archiving Technology to Copyright Infringement

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DHS S&T Applies Mobile App Archiving Technology to Copyright Infringement

Release Date: 
July 17, 2015

For Immediate Release
DHS Science & Technology Press Office
Contact: John Verrico, (202) 254-2385

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced that their mobile apps archiving technology has expanded the capability to track copyright infringement in mobile apps across iTunes, Windows Phone Store, Google Play, Amazon, and third party mobile app markets like Baidu and Cydia.

“Creating innovative technology to secure our nation’s infrastructure is a key priority,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “I am proud that our Cyber Security Division (CSD) continues to lead top notch mobile security R&D projects – allowing us to help protect our nation against e-crime.”

As more entertainment and video content is being streamed on smart devices, S&T and performers George Mason University and Kryptowire have seen a rise in copyright infringement and attempts to profit from pirated video content.  In a recent study, the mobile app archiving technology used a set of searchable keywords from paid streaming content and was able to discover more than 18,000 apps across Android, iOS and Windows app platforms linking to pirated content.

“In the past our society stayed home to watch television or went out to the theatre,” said Cyber Security Division Mobile Security Program Manager Vincent Sritapan “Today that has changed. Everyone has a smart phone or tablet. People are now streaming videos from apps; allowing them to watch their shows at their convenience.”

The technology is currently being used by the entertainment industry to track free and paid mobile apps that attempt to profit off pirated streamed video content to end-users. However, this technology could easily be applied to other mediums – such as music and photos – or other large enterprise organizations that have an interest in protecting branding of their mobile products and assets.   In the case of free apps, an advertisement displayed while the content is streamed often funds the video content.

In May 2015, the technology was presented at the Symposium on Electronic Crime Research (eCrime 2015) – a cybersecurity conference focused on cyber-crime investigation, forensic techniques and infrastructure defense – in Barcelona, Spain. The technology’s copyright infringement research paper Analysis of Content Copyright Infringement in Mobile Application Markets, received Best Paper for the conference, edging out 21 other e-crime research topics. 

With the success of the mobile archiving app technology’s expansion, S&T CSD will continue to fund research and development for projects that will enable the adoption of secure mobile technologies.

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