[OT] Software protection schemes

Bob Sneidar bobs at twft.com
Tue Aug 30 11:42:07 EDT 2011

Reminds me of the time I developed a radio log scheduler in the old Excel using the function macros (remember them?) The whole thing worked because I was able to write macros that created other macros that built the log. It also depended on the end user leaving the template log sheet and the macro sheet alone. So I tried different ways to lock it down, but there was no mechanism for doing so back then. In the end it worked but eventually users tried to edit the template, and hosed the whole system, just like I figured they would. 

As they say in the Navy, "Nothing is sailor proof." 


On Aug 30, 2011, at 7:48 AM, Richmond Mathewson wrote:

> I downloaded a passport application form today:
> http://centralcontent.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/central-content-pdfs/form-c1.pdf
> Now, as I am having a "printer crisis" at home, I decided to take the PDF document up to my school to print it, via a Flash drive.
> Hey-Ho; when I got to the school and opened the PDF all I got was a single-page blank document.
> So, back home, poking around in the PDF I found that it is "(SECURED)"; which seems to mean that I cannot copy what I have downloaded from the internet onto any sort of portable media.
> *   So I opened the application form with GIMP and exported the 5 pages as JPEG
> *   files, copied them onto my Flash drive, ran up the road and printed them.
> Now this process took me all of 3-4 minutes.
> So, what on earth was the point of the document being "(SECURED)"? Presumably the computery people who do "that sort of thing" for the British authorities are well aware that all that stands between their 'protection' and doing what on earth you want is just a spot of lateral thinking?
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Any form of software protection can (and almost inevitably will) be overcome. So,
> the only real reason for it is just to slow people down a bit.
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