Software Engineering

ThinqSoft and its engineers have a deep history in delivering complete software solutions that solve difficult challenges for our customers. These projects have spanned a wide range of industries, including Aerospace, Legal, Broadcast Media, Information Technology, and Security. In the last 5 years, our focus has narrowed on the computer security field and the unique challenges with cryptography and FIPS 140.

Industry Leading Breadth and Depth of Expertise

To gain a sense of the breadth of our capabilities, we highlight 5 of our many projects:

For the broadcast media practice group of a large international law firm, we developed an information tracking and client notification system interfacing with the FCC to report application activities of TV and radio station in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The service captures and processes the daily application submissions to the FCC, and prepares a customized and curated list of all relevant activities for each of 300 radio stations and ownership groups. The system has been in continuous daily operation for more than 10 years and has averaged an uptime of 99.75% over that span.

This software, completed in 2008, is the 4th generation of a software that was first developed in 1999 by a principle of Thinqsoft. The relationship of the two companies has transcended buyouts and retirements, and in the spring of 2019, ThinqSoft reached the milestone of 20 years of ongoing development and support for a single line of software.

For a small staffing consulting company based in Chicago, IL, we developed an innovative candidate interview application to automate a previously paper-based process. The company had created a novel candidate interview process based on decades of psychological research. They had a diverse customer base, but desired to develop a windows-based application they could sell that would encapsulate the process and enable new revenue streams. The software contained many complicated UX design elements owing to the unique process, and selected interview questions from a database based on the interviewee’s previous responses. The software was successfully deployed and doubled the company’s annual revenues within 2 years.

For a major storage vendor, we modified OpenSSL to meet the customer’s validation goals. The updates included:

  • RSA Key Generation algorithm to conform to the FIPS 186-4 standard
  • Remove disallowed key lengths and algorithms
  • Change startup to force “always on” FIPS mode

This work became the genesis of ThinqSoft’s “FOMRedux” product. After the engagement, we continued to modify the OpenSSL source code into the product available today.

For an enterprise-focused IT security company, we modified their custom cryptographic provider to meet the current FIPS 140-2 standard. The company had previous achieved a FIPS 140-2 validation on their product, and desired to revalidation the module. The changes in FIPS since the original validation meant significant work was needed. We were engaged for the software engineer task. Through the course of the engagement, our experience in FIPS 140 became clear, and the role expanded to a full-service FIPS consulting engagement. Our engineers performed architecture and engineering work, along with algorithm testing, lab interface, and overall project management of the FIPS validation process.
For a company engaged in providing software to set-top and embedded markets, we wrote a translation layer from OpenSSL to their custom library. They desired to capture additional customers that were using OpenSSL, and to provide a means of switching to their FIPS-validated solution for a minimum of effort by their customers. ThinqSoft wrote a shared object that translates a large number of function calls and data structures from OpenSSL’s API to the customer’s API. The work enabled our client’s customers to link against the translator instead of OpenSSL, and thereby access specialized FIPS-validated cryptography with no change to their code base.

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