Hello all,

I am new here but looked like a lot of knowledgeable folks here. I have a problem finding an answer/solution for an SD card copy protect problem.

I have information that I am going to sell on SD cards but need to find out how to be able to protect the cards from being copied and duplicated.

Anyone know a way to copy protect an sd card? I have done a lot of internet searches and cant come up with anything.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Have a great week.

6 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by cwarn23

Usually, protecting such data is more trouble than it's worth. The only practical way is to encrypt the data and provide a custom application to access it that requires registration with your servers in order to get a key to decrypt the data. Even then, it can be hacked, and you still would need a 2 or 3 stage decryption process to make breaking the system "interesting" to a hacker. Unless your data is incredibly valuable and expensive, this is just not worth the cost to develop using rigorous methods, testing, and deployment. My suggestion is to make the data and SD card (or thumb drive) cheap enough so that the temptation to copy or pirate it is greatly reduced. Don't inconvenience (and piss off) your customers should be the first rule.


As stated previously, almost anything can be hacked given enough time and incentive. If your cost is high then you are providing that incentive.

Another approach would be to provide online access to the data through an application rather than handing over the whole thing on an SD card. Depending on your application needs you could possibly restrict queries to individual records. If there is a lot of data, it would be time consuming (but not impossible given automation) to get all the data through individual queries. If your application requirement necessitates displaying multiple records at once, then the time required (difficulty) would be reduced.


Thanks for the replies...this is only a 39.95 retail item so not big value. I just had a large chain store retailer ask if I could copy protect it.

Thanks again.


Well, if it can be read (necessary in order to deliver the product), it can be copied. At $40 per unit, DRM is not cost effective. Commercial DVDs and Blu-ray discs are supposedly uncopyable, but we all know that not to be true as well. The CSS encryption on DVDs was broken by a teenager a couple of months after DVDs hit the mass market. Blu-ray encryption was a bit harder, but hackers broke that in not much longer a time frame. My personal, and professional opinion is that DRM only serves to inconvenience and piss off your customers. Most people are perfectly happy to pay for content, provided it comes at a perceived acceptable cost/benefit ratio.


In the case of a SD card the best way to make sure it cannot be stolen is to design a camera which encodes the images with an algorithm that only specialized software can read. Then to save the images to the computer you would need to process these files through a secure program which requires a registration and have it so that each registration will only work on one computer. Their my thoughts anyway.

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