Secure Digital Container

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Secure Digital Container is a compressed, encrypted executable file type that is made and used by the e-academy License Management System (ELMS) for secure downloads of primarily academic software. After being downloaded, it is decrypted and the software is extracted. The SDC file is created by e-academy for distribution of academic software purchased or freely downloaded by its academic user base. It cannot be opened without the Secure Delivery Client. The Secure delivery client requests permission from ELMS to download. If ELMS denied the request, the download does not proceed. There is also a limited number of downloads a customer could use. When download count hits zero, a customer would be unable to download more copies of the software.

Older SDC files have weak protection and can be unpacked with the UnpackSDC 1.1 tool. [1]

Recently related SDX files have been introduced. They are metadata for Secure Download Manager, which downloads either normal EXE/MSI files or encrypted SDC files and automatically decrypts them.

Secure Digital Container [2] or "Digital Containerization". This is a term of art coined by United States Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) Researchers Mick Davis and George Krasovec to describe their cryptographic solution that utilizes a novel Digital Container Format approach with proprietary metafile exploitation for Cross-Platform Digital Rights Management through a multi-key single pass elliptical curve encryption process for digital rights management architecture. [3]

The Analogy: A containerized shipping example works well to describe the Cross Platform Digital Rights Management Challenge. [4] This example follows gracefully within the context of the shipping and import export community and the distribution of cargo and delivery of products.

Containerization revolutionized cargo shipping with a dramatic impact on productivity and jobs moving support from the waterfront towards distribution and delivery centers. Today, approximately 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide moves by containers stacked on transport ships. In the 1950’s, Harvard University economist Benjamin Chinitz predicted that containerization would benefit New York by allowing it to ship industrial goods produced there more cheaply to the South, but did not anticipate that containerization might make it cheaper to import such goods from abroad. The containerization of digital objects by way data centric security equally applies in this case.

Improved cargo security was also an important benefit of containerization. The cargo is not visible to the casual viewer and thus is less likely to be stolen and the doors of the containers are generally sealed so that tampering is more evident. This has reduced the "falling off the truck" syndrome. The same effect can be achieved with Digital Containers for transporting data.

Digital Containerization of data would benefit every layer of the OSI Model to add a digital forensic attribute for monitored transactions thus establishing a defined data pedigree and early the building blocks of digital DNA.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UnpackSDC 1.1,
  2. ^ The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board and National Research Council, January 21, 2000,
  3. ^ Towards a Secure and Interoperable DRM Architecture, Gelareh Taban, lvaro A. Cárdenas, Virgil D. Gligor, 2006,
  4. ^ Cross Platform Digital Rights Management Challenge, DOD SBIR,

Further reading[edit]