A bit of history

Wibu-Systems GbR (that’s the original name of the company) was founded by Oliver Winzenried and Marcellus Buchheit in Karlsruhe in 1989, with the goal to deliver secure and easy-to-use software licensing and protection technologies to the market. The idea for the first WibuBox as a dongle for the LPT interface was born that year.

What is WIBUKEY?

WIBUKEY User’s Guide version 4.10, May 2004:

WIBU-KEY is an intellectual property protection system. It works to prevent the use of illegal copies of software and data files. WIBU-KEY consists of encryption and driver software and a hardware component called the WIBU-BOX. The principle of the protection is the encryption of the intellectual property. Interrogations and encryption are built into the software or data file to be protected. These access the WIBU-BOX, which is connected to the computer. The WIBU-BOX confirms the interrogations and implements the decryption of the encrypted program or data file. Without the WIBU-BOX, the protected software cannot be used and the protected data files cannot be read. This decryption cannot be replicated by a software process, because it relies on certain secrets which are built directly into the WIBU-BOX. WIBU-SYSTEMS guarantees the non-reproducibility of theWIBU-BOX. This way no more copies of the program can be used than defined in the WIBU-BOX hardware.

What is WIBU-BOX?

WIBUKEY User’s Guide version 4.10, May 2004:

The WIBU-BOX is the WIBU-KEY hardware component. There are many different variants of WIBU-BOXes, all of which contain the same intelligence: the WIBU-KEY ASIC. The WIBU-KEY ASIC is a small but powerful encryption/decryption microprocessor. All memory used by the ASIC is built directly into the ASIC chip for even greater security.

The WIBU-BOX is available for PCs, Macs, and UNIX machines. Because all of the different WIBU-BOX hardware variants contain the same ASIC, they all operate identically. In fact, no special work is necessary to support any specific WIBU-BOX. WIBU-KEY automatically detects and utilizes an appropriately configured WIBU-BOX no matter what type it is or what port it is on. This gives you the greatest degree of flexibility, because you can deliver different WIBU-BOX hardware to different customers depending on their requirements without writing any special code or doing any extra work.

Variety of WIBU-BOX types

  • WIBU-BOX/P – PC parallel (printer) port (LPT1 to LPT3), 16 kByte additional memory.
  • WIBU-BOX/ST – UNIX serial terminal communications port.
  • WIBU-BOX/U – Universal Serial Bus (USB) for PC, Mac and UNIX, 16kByte additional memory.
  • WIBU-BOX/M – PCMCIA (PC Card) slot for laptops.
  • WIBU-BOX/RP – PC parallel (printer) port (LPT1 to LPT3), 16 kByte additional memory.
  • WIBU-BOX/RU – Universal Serial Bus (USB) for PC and Mac, 16 kByte additional memory.

Underlined types are the most commonly used by end-users.

WIBUKEY Emulator

WIBUKEY algorithms

This dongle has a bunch of crypto algorithms implemented depending on WIBUKEY version.

It is possible to recover secrets for algorithms 1, 2 and 3. In other words – dongles with this algorithms can be emulated completely. Algorithms with version 4 and 5 can be emulated via query/respons (question/answer) tables, and there is no way to recover secret parameters for these algoritms.

Emulator can be made in several ways, depending on software verndor’s protection implementation – windows kernel driver, user-mode dll library (injection, hoocking, replacing, etc).


Short list of ready-to-use WIBUKEY dongle emulators. This page will be updated and categorized soon.

  • .XRY by Micro Systemation AB;
  • Cymap v10.x;
  • Dataton Watchout v2.x-v3.x;
  • EcsCad v5.5;
  • ESAB Columbus v5.10;
  • Magus RTN-DEMO by Market Guidance Systems, Inc. (MGS);
  • Met 5000;
  • Plaibox-tv AirBox;
  • Product Support Tools (PST) v2005 by MOTOROLA;
  • VESTRA CAD add-on to AutoCAD;
  • WSCAD v4.x, v5.x;
  • Xeikon 5000;

If you have any questions, suggestions, orders, please feel free to contact. Our contact information can be found here.