Database of Software “Fingerprints” Expands to Include Computer Games

Forensic Focus - Articles

by Richard Press, NIST

One of the largest software libraries in the world just grew larger. The National Software Reference Library (NSRL), which archives copies of the world’s most widely installed software titles, has expanded to include computer game software from three popular PC gaming distribution platforms—Steam, Origin and Blizzard.

The NSRL, which is maintained by computer scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), allows cybersecurity and forensics experts to keep track of the immense and ever-growing volume of software on the world’s computers, mobile phones and other digital devices. It is the largest publicly known collection of its kind in the world.

To people who work in cybersecurity and digital forensics, the world is a vast and ever-rising ocean of digital objects. NIST’s Reference Data Set—a list of more than 40 million hashes, or digital “fingerprints” of known software files—helps them quickly find what they’re…

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