Dave Calkins davecalk at
Sat Jun 15 10:38:01 EDT 2002

Hi Richard,

Thanks for posting the sites.

Interesting Thread.

Dave Calkins

Richard Gaskin wrote:

> > One thing I've always thought about is using a foreign constant in the
> > algorithm. Something like an reversal of an animal's name (like "noil" for
> > "lion") that has nothing to do with the company or product would be fed into
> > the algorithm. It's not something that is likely to be guessed, and it would
> > be necessary to know in order to hack the algorithm.
> ...unless they're watching the routine execute in a low-level debugger.
> But for purely sentimental reasons I tend to use string constants as part of
> the reg arithmetic myself, often the first name of whomever I'm dating at
> the time. :)  The arithmetic used is trivial but annoyingly spaghetti-ized;
> it's more a test of the cracker's patience than their skill.
> Which raises an interesting point: why would someone spend $100-worth of
> their time to crack a $70 program?  Ego: these folks live to be the most
> reliable supplier of cracks.  In their insular world, reputation is
> currency.
> Some anti-crackers suggest this scheme, temptingly devious in the way it
> takes the ego factor into account: between releases, embed any known stolen
> reg codes in the software, but don't reject them during registration.
> Instead, go ahead and let the program be unlocked -- but kick in a 30-day
> timer, after which the user is notified that the reg code was a stolen one
> and to contact you if they want a working code.
> The sweet part is the effect on the social standing of the
> crack-distributor:  he cracks it, it works, so he posts it.  Folks grab it,
> find it doesn't really work, and the cracker gets a rep for being sloppy and
> unreliable.  :)
> Trivia from Reg Code History:  it's been said that for years any MS product
> could be unlocked by entering all 1's.  Marketshare over security.
> More good reading on the topic:
> Defending Shareware Against Cracks
> <>
> How to shut down acrack sites
> <>
> And the oft-cited "FRAVIA'S 'HOW TO PROTECT BETTER'"
> <>
> --
>  Richard Gaskin
>  Fourth World Media Corporation
>  Custom Software and Web Development for All Major Platforms
>  Developer of WebMerge 2.0: Publish any Database on Any Site
>  ___________________________________________________________
>  Ambassador at
>  Tel: 323-225-3717                       AIM: FourthWorldInc
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