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Intelligent Automation Exploits `Fingerprints' for Bullet Matching and CD Piracy

ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Until recently, matching bullets to guns in criminal cases to provide evidence "beyond all reasonable doubt" has relied upon expert witnesses rather than hard, quantifiable science. Now, thanks to a system developed over the last five years by Intelligent Automation Inc., prosecutors have a new tool for ballistics analysis equivalent to fingerprint testing. Federally funded in part by the National Institute of Justice and the National Science Foundation, the new system seeks and classifies the minute surface marks imparted to a bullet as it speeds along the barrel of a gun. These marks, just like their human fingerprint counterparts, are, in most cases, sufficiently unique to identify a particular firearm. Over 100 forensic analysis systems developed by Intelligent Automation are operating in police departments around the world through a manufacturing and distribution partnership with Computer Sciences Corporation.

Based on this success, Intelligent Automation is now extending its expertise in forensic technology to address a major problem of industrial theft -- the pirating of CD's, CD-ROM's and DVD's. These products are readily copied and manufactured anywhere in the world within 24 hours of first release. Until now, there has been no way to tie a pirated product to its source of supply. However, just as a firearm imparts unique marks to every bullet, a manufacturing machine imbues each optical disc with a unique set of microscopic features. Using the same techniques developed for ballistics, Intelligent Automation is creating a system called DiscPrint(TM) that identifies the "fingerprint" on any disc and links it back to the manufacturing plant. Software and recording companies, as well as movie studios, can purchase their own products on the open market anywhere in the world and immediately determine whether they are legitimate or forged. If they are pirated products, they have proof "beyond all reasonable doubt" to link the discs to unauthorized factories.

This new tool is becoming available at just the right time. According to the 1999 Global Software Piracy Report published by International Planning and Research Corp., " ... the losses to software companies alone from pirated products worldwide is $12.2bn annually and cost the US 109,000 jobs and $1bn in tax revenues in 1999." Although a significant fraction of these losses occur through sharing software and content on the Internet, copying and distribution of "hard" copies still abounds. And with the emergence of DVDs as the new preferred standard for home videos, film studios such as Warner Brothers and Sony are anticipating a major growth in product theft.

According to Joseph Schwartz, CEO of Intelligent Automation, "our new `DiscPrint(TM)' system is expected to be a major deterrent to pirates currently relishing this new opportunity."

Please direct all inquiries to Dr. Anthony C. Warren at Strategic Technologies LLC, [email protected] or at 609-688-9990.

Intelligent Automation Inc. is a privately held technology development company based in Rockville, Maryland. With over 50 scientists and engineers, the company develops under contract complex proprietary systems for government and the private sector. For information on the company and some of its programs see Strategic Technologies, based in Princeton, NJ acts as an investment banker for technology rich companies.

SOURCE: Strategic Technologies LLC

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