Using WebArmor

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Instructions for Configuring and Using WebArmor.

First, please read the WebArmor FAQ. The FAQ is considered part of these instructions.

First Time Users.

  1. If you haven't already done so, download and unpack the WebArmor software package.

  2. Open an account with us and buy at least one WebArmor License. One license will protect one site for one year.

  3. Go back to the accounts page. Enter your account number and password and choose the "Assign a license to a site" option. On the subsequent page, enter your new license number and the name of your site (eg., This assignment is recorded in our databases and allows the Authoritative Timestamps to be attached to your WebArmor archives.

  4. You are now ready to create a WebArmor schedule file.

Creating a Schedule File.

  1. Edit the text file 'schedule.txt' found in the WebArmor software package. The schedule file consists of at least two lines, described below.

  2. The first line, starting with '0 license' is the "license line", which includes your site name, account number, and the license number assigned to yours site. In the example, the line looks like this:
    0 license A85-0125-878 L98-3636-187
    The first character is a '0' (zero), followed by the word 'license' (all lower case), followed by the site name, your account number, and the license number assigned to the site. This example would be interpreted as "I claim that the site is protected by WebArmor License number L98-3636-187, which is owned by the account A85-0125-878".

    The license line must be the first line in the file.

    When WebArmor loads this schedule, the license information is checked against our records to verify the right person is protecting the right site with the right license.

    You must edit these three fields (site, account number, license number) to reflect your own site, account number, and license number values. The example values will not work. You must use your own values for your site. Replace these values with your own.

  3. The second line in the example is a "schedule line". This line describes which part of your site to archive and when to do it. In the example, the schedule line looks something like this:
    1 11/27/95 9:00 pm 2 d 3 1

    The first character is a '1' (one) followed by the date and time when you wish archiving to begin. Next is the "root URL" (the first page on your site to start archiving from), followed by some codes that indicate 1) how often to archive, 2) how deep to go away from the root page, and 3) whether or not to include graphics.

    In "English", this example would be interpreted as "On November 27, 1995 at 9:00 pm local time, archive all pages reachable from the URL that are no more than 3 links away from that URL. Do this every two day (2 d), and include the graphics (the trailing 1 means include, 0 would mean ignore)."

    It's important to note that no "offsite" pages will be archived. All pages must reside on the site associated with the license. In this example, it would be senseless to create schedules lines that don't contain, because those URLs are not protected by this license. WebArmor simply ignores offsite links.

  4. As above, you should edit the schedule line and insert values that make sense for your situation. Once you've created your schedule file, you're ready to run WebArmor.

Running WebArmor.

  1. Be sure you are connected to the Internet. This may be a dedicated line, SLIP or PPP connection. WebArmor must be able to reach our timestamp and encryption servers, or it cannot produce valid archives.

  2. Launch the WebArmor application. WebArmor will prompt you for a schedule file. Select the file that you edited or created in the previous section.

  3. As WebArmor runs, it writes a log of it's activities to the screen and to a disk file called 'log.txt'. The logfile is placed in the same folder as the application.

    WebArmor will proceed through a series of steps:

    1. WebArmor contacts the time server and acquires an authoritative timestamp for the archive. If you're not connected to the Internet, this step will fail and WebArmor will terminate.

    2. WebArmor contacts our database to verify that the site, license, and account numbers in the license line of your schedule are known to us and properly associated. If this step fails, WebArmor continues, but the archive is tagged as invalid.

    3. WebArmor archives your site. When it's finished, it:

      • Computes an ending timestamp.

      • Computes the signature of the archive.

      • Contacts our encryption server and encrypts ownership information, timestamps, and the signature.

      • Embeds the encrypted information into the archive and terminates.
  4. That's it.

What WebArmor Produces.

WebArmor places archive files into a directory structure rooted in a the same directory containing the WebArmor application. Archive files are organized into subdirectories, with one subdirectory for each site protected. Within the site subdirectories are date and time subdirectories, followed finally by the archive files themselves. Thus, each WebArmor session creates a new set of subdirectories that follow this pattern:

The date and time subdirectories are name starting time of the archive. If you run several WebArmor sessions over several days, WebArmor will produce several date subdirectories within the site subdirectory. Within each date subdirectory may be several time subdirectories. Within each time subdirectory will be the single WebArmor archive file created at that particular date and time.

This directory structure is only built to make finding archives for a particular date and time convenient. It has no operational meaning otherwise. That is, each archive contains it's own encrypted date and time stamp, independent of the directory in which it resides. Thus, you can't "forge" an archive timestamp by simply moving it to another directory. The subdirectories are only built for your convenience.

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