A Dynamic Birthmark for Java - ASE 2007
by David Schuler, Valentin Dallmeier, Christian Lindig

ASE '07: Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Automated Software Engineering, Pages 274-283, November 2007.

ISBN: 9781595938824

Digital Library via DOI: 10.1145/1321631.1321672 - Local copy: Download as PDF file.


Code theft is a threat for companies that consider code as a core asset. A birthmark can help them to prove code theft by identifying intrinsic properties of a program. Two programs with the same birthmark are likely to share a common origin. Birthmarking works in particular for code that was not protected by tamper-resistant copyright notices that otherwise could prove ownership. We propose a dynamic birthmark for Java that observes how a program uses objects provided by the Java Standard API. Such a birthmark is difficult to foil because it captures the observable semantics of a program. In an evaluation, our API Birthmark reliably identified XML parsers and PNG readers before and after obfuscating them with state-of-the-art obfuscation tools. These rendered existing birthmarks ineffective, such as the Whole-Program-Path-Birthmark by Myles and Collberg.

BibTeX Entry

    title = "A Dynamic Birthmark for Java",
    author = "David Schuler and Valentin Dallmeier and Christian Lindig",
    year = "2007",
    month = nov,
    booktitle = "ASE '07: Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Automated Software Engineering",
    location = "Atlanta, Georgia, USA",
    pages = "274--283",
    ISBN = "9781595938824",
    doi = "10.1145/1321631.1321672",

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