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Thread: Preventing Cracks

  1. #1

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    Preventing Cracks

    I am trying to prevent someone cracking my application.

    They completely Emulated my server its running on that sends the data back and fourth.

    So my first instinct was, to make it auto shut down pc when OllyDBG Opens, because that is what they are doing it with. But then I thought, they can open the program with ollydbg before they execute it.

    I have it already where it generates a hash etc etc.

    Any ideas? I am really not enjoying this.

    The hacker uses OllyDeRoX & ASM to do this.

  2. #2
    PowerPoster SJWhiteley's Avatar
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Use a hardware key?

    It's not clear from your post what you are protecting, or needs protecting: you talk about a server, data, an application. What is the nature of the application?

    It really depends what your application does and where the value is, but in your case, it sounds like they have all the tools to completely crack it - which implies you are hiding something *in* the program.

    You could scan the in process applications and prevent your application from doing the 'value added' part, i suppose, if a malicious application is present.
    "Ok, my response to that is pending a Google search" - Bucky Katt.
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    "Before you can 'think outside the box' you need to understand where the box is."

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    That's the main thing all anti-hacking software programs (Punkbuster, Gameguard, etc.) do, but it is not always effective. Plus, it slows your computer/game down in the long run, as more cracks and hacks appear.

    Best would be to own one main server where everyone plays, and everyone together. This way people are less likely to set up some boring server for solo player or with two others, since playing with twenty others is lots more fun.

    And it has no use making protection mechanisms in a program people can already crack, they'd just crack the protection. Banning is still the best option, but that also means you can not have a server running for one player in one game, cracking the game becomes too easy then.

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    I just have a pay2use Tool I created, and a guy continuously cracks it. I have tried everything. Once I created a server for the data rather than what I was doing, it took him a month but he still cracked it. I have read some methods to prevent it, but none that are too advanced. Because the ones I find are for new reverse engineers, and he is far advanced, I don't really now what to do.

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Aw a tool is going to proof difficult. All you can do is add "specialized functions" of your tool on a server, so your program must connect to this server and use these functions. It kinda depends on what tool it is, though.

    Don't have much experience with pay2use tools (mine are always free), but I do know out of experience of others that almost any tool ever developed was cracked eventually. You need to be a pretty advanced coder (goes towards machine language) if you manage to do something so many have failed...

    You can add bits of code scattered around your entire program which checks for a valid version, but eventually even that can be cracked.

  6. #6

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    That was the purpose of the server for my tool, everything is ran back and fourth on it. But he managed to emulate it.

  7. #7
    Wait... what? weirddemon's Avatar
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    That was the purpose of the server for my tool, everything is ran back and fourth on it. But he managed to emulate it.
    Is he spreading the hack around? Or is it just a game for him? If it's just a game, I say let it be. You've probably spent a lot of time trying to stop him. Time that could have been used fixing bugs, adding features, etc.

    I'm with bergerkiller on this one, though. No matter what you do, someone will eventually be able to crack your protection mechanism.

    But, if you're committed one trying to make it as hard as possible for that to happen, then could you explain what the tool does exactly? Perhaps we could suggest better methods if we knew what it did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    "game trainer" is the same as calling the act of robbing a bank "wealth redistribution"....

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    He has leeched it to the public. This tool is my income, it is an mmorpg bot. I know, this forum doesn't support bots, im not asking for help programming, I am asking for help securing.

  9. #9
    Wait... what? weirddemon's Avatar
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    He has leeched it to the public. This tool is my income, it is an mmorpg bot. I know, this forum doesn't support bots, im not asking for help programming, I am asking for help securing.
    Oh, well in that case, I understand completely why you're trying to stop him. I hope you can appreciate the irony of protecting a bot, though

    Have you thought about running a service in the background and stopping him that way? I'm not the best at this sort of thing, so bear with me.

    The service can handle closing OllyDbg or closing connections to his emulated server, etc. If the app can't detect the service running, it shuts down, etc
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    "game trainer" is the same as calling the act of robbing a bank "wealth redistribution"....

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    In that case, your program must have some essential coding in the background.
    For example, you need to generate certain MD5 hash for the login only you can know; then you can add this function to your server. The user has to login onto your website (verify itself) to use this function on the web. Add an overflow to it, so it is not possible for hacks to use a certain account login for multiple users.

    In short: find the most important function needed in your program, which is not emulatable by a cracker, and add this essential function to your server. This way the program requires a connection to your and only your server. Building your program around a server would be even better, for example, perform every single function on a remote server. DO keep these functions invisible to the general public. (no visible java/php script people can read, java .class files can be converted back to .java)

    Few simple functions I'd expect for a bot:
    - the script files containing the pathways the bot can walk (the 'map')
    - anti-bot random events occurring in the game, which the bot must handle
    - important functions used to communicate with the game

    This also has a nice feature added:
    - you can easily update your bot without users having to re-download your bot, since the changed files are already online
    - cracked versions would get old eventually, requiring a complete database re-write for the cracker
    - list IP's connecting to your scripts, allows for banning of people "trying" to illegally obtain these files

    Another nice thing:
    BAN IP addresses that try to obtain your scripts illegally. Say, you require a program-defined MD5 hash as argument to your script before it can be downloaded. This way any user that downloads the script without using this hash code can be banned, contacted, etc. You could even ban the user that is trying to crack your programs, since they are listed.
    Also do this properly: crackers use software that check packages received/obtained. Use MD5 hashes that change, for example, using the current time or read from another source.

    Sidenote: ban crackers so they can no longer crack.

  11. #11

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Okay, so, this is how my program is setup and he managed to cracked it.

    - 100% encrypted
    - 100% Login only
    - 100% all data runs through a encrypted server I created

    I found his server he is hosting his crack on. He completely Emulated my bot server, which is where all the data goes in and out.

    He made it so users have no information in the login box, hit login, and everything is fully functional. But, since the looping scripts are stored and encrypted in my server, he had to emulate that too, which of course he did, so he basically stole 9 months of work within 1 month of reversing. I have had an older bot about 2 years ago, and he cracked it too. It is weird that he only goes after mine, which is the cheapest around for this mmorpg. He has no account on my forum, one user paid for an account and let him use it.
    It already tracks Hardware ID but, if the other user never used the bot, he could use it to crack.

    My next idea is to not let the program be ran if they have Ollydebug (He uses a modded version: OllyDeRox) but I know that he could easily reverse it, just like when I had to automatically shut your pc down if you run it.

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Is the cracked bot having to contact your server at all?

    If it is add a sub that will check the ip of the connected server. If it differs from the original / legitimate server have it write to the regisrty that an illegal version is running then shut down at the user end.

    When they try to run again the program checks islegal? in the registry and if it isn't shuts down again.

    The only way round it would be to purchase from you, reinstall with a valid serial that then changes islegal? from no to yes

  13. #13
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    Okay, so, this is how my program is setup and he managed to cracked it.

    - 100% encrypted
    - 100% Login only
    - 100% all data runs through a encrypted server I created

    I found his server he is hosting his crack on. He completely Emulated my bot server, which is where all the data goes in and out.

    He made it so users have no information in the login box, hit login, and everything is fully functional. But, since the looping scripts are stored and encrypted in my server, he had to emulate that too, which of course he did, so he basically stole 9 months of work within 1 month of reversing. I have had an older bot about 2 years ago, and he cracked it too. It is weird that he only goes after mine, which is the cheapest around for this mmorpg. He has no account on my forum, one user paid for an account and let him use it.
    It already tracks Hardware ID but, if the other user never used the bot, he could use it to crack.

    My next idea is to not let the program be ran if they have Ollydebug (He uses a modded version: OllyDeRox) but I know that he could easily reverse it, just like when I had to automatically shut your pc down if you run it.
    If you go this route, make sure you look for the processes MD-5 or SHA2 hash and close it based on that. If you just go by process name, all he'd have to do is rename the process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    "game trainer" is the same as calling the act of robbing a bank "wealth redistribution"....

  14. #14

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    I have searched and searched for ways to prevent it. As it is though, no one can stop the best. Look at Microsoft, every product they have has been cracked. All he does all day is reverse stuff like this. What I don't understand is how he is doing it, due to it all going in and out of my server. And yes, to the islegal thing. He is just amazing at what he does, and I simply don't know how I can beat him, but I rely on this for my income while going to school, so I must try. I know I cannot fully stop him, but I can always slow him down. And all the information you guys gave me was great.

    Why do people want to manipulate others hard work like this.

    Even more so, who has the time?

    I will try to reprogram my bot server to be more secure, and maybe change some of it to my own encryption method.

    I have also thought about making a "key" database, like a cd key database like a lot of products work, would this be helpful? Or would he just go and create a keygen?

  15. #15
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    I have searched and searched for ways to prevent it. As it is though, no one can stop the best. Look at Microsoft, every product they have has been cracked. All he does all day is reverse stuff like this. What I don't understand is how he is doing it, due to it all going in and out of my server. And yes, to the islegal thing. He is just amazing at what he does, and I simply don't know how I can beat him, but I rely on this for my income while going to school, so I must try. I know I cannot fully stop him, but I can always slow him down. And all the information you guys gave me was great.

    Why do people want to manipulate others hard work like this.

    Even more so, who has the time?

    I will try to reprogram my bot server to be more secure, and maybe change some of it to my own encryption method.

    I have also thought about making a "key" database, like a cd key database like a lot of products work, would this be helpful? Or would he just go and create a keygen?
    Ultimately, you're right, there's nothing you can do to stop everyone. Especially someone who's dedicated and has the amount of knowledge this guy has.

    It's hard to say why he's doing it. There could be a million reasons. He could be doing it on principle. Or he could be one of those guys who thinks every piece of software should be free, which makes no sense. Or it could just be a game to him. It's best not to worry about why he's doing it, just focus on out smarting him. No matter how good he is, there's a limit to his skill. You just have to work on figuring out what that is.

    A key database can't hurt. I'm certain he'll be able to create a keygen for it, as you mentioned, but the more you can do to make his job harder, the better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    "game trainer" is the same as calling the act of robbing a bank "wealth redistribution"....

  16. #16

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    He does it because the playerbase of this game that is outside of people who buy with USD or Euro are very cheap and don't want to pay, they are children. So they beg and beg and want everything to be free. And he does it for them, because he can.

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    He does it because the playerbase of this game that is outside of people who buy with USD or Euro are very cheap and don't want to pay, they are children. So they beg and beg and want everything to be free. And he does it for them, because he can.
    If you know why he does it, why did you ask about his intentions? o.O

    Either way, just focus your time on beating him. No matter how smart someone is, there's always someone smarter
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    "game trainer" is the same as calling the act of robbing a bank "wealth redistribution"....

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    I will work on fixing a few bugs and release a new version. I have contacted all users of the application and provided each with a unique cd key to charge a new month, I will switch to the keys for now, I created my own generator for the accounts, this takes down my Automated system until I complete it again, but for now, I will not let it run with any reversing programs to my knowledge, and I have changed a few things around on the bot server. Once I release this, I don't know if the version checker on the original was removed in the crack, but this could even disable the previous version. But, this new version will be targeted due to a major bug fix, so he will have more to crack, since I changed a lot around.

  19. #19
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    I will work on fixing a few bugs and release a new version. I have contacted all users of the application and provided each with a unique cd key to charge a new month, I will switch to the keys for now, I created my own generator for the accounts, this takes down my Automated system until I complete it again, but for now, I will not let it run with any reversing programs to my knowledge, and I have changed a few things around on the bot server. Once I release this, I don't know if the version checker on the original was removed in the crack, but this could even disable the previous version. But, this new version will be targeted due to a major bug fix, so he will have more to crack, since I changed a lot around.
    Just download his cracked version to see if the auto-update feature is enabled. How was the automated system that you are referring to, setup in the beginning?

    Also, with the keys, I'd recommend grabbing specific hardware data when the key is first used. Then you can compare that data to the key each time. If it's different, you can lock the key from being used. Since someone gave this guy the app in the first place, I think it's fair to say that they would give him the key as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    "game trainer" is the same as calling the act of robbing a bank "wealth redistribution"....

  20. #20
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Well, there is no such thing as "Secured Software", only "Hardened Software".

  21. #21

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    The keys are a one time use. I use a program I made (Charge.exe) you put the special key and it converts it into 30 days of time inside the account database. I am going to try to attach hardware id to my forum accounts also, and log the ip to see if its different. I will figure him out.

  22. #22
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by srspiewarmer View Post
    Well, there is no such thing as "Secured Software", only "Hardened Software".
    Yeah... that's what we've been talking about this whole time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    The keys are a one time use. I use a program I made (Charge.exe) you put the special key and it converts it into 30 days of time inside the account database. I am going to try to attach hardware id to my forum accounts also, and log the ip to see if its different. I will figure him out.
    Oh, I see. Yeah, it will just take time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    "game trainer" is the same as calling the act of robbing a bank "wealth redistribution"....

  23. #23

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    I think what he is doing is NOP my account detections inside the code.

    I have learned some with OllyDbg when trying to do this to nProtect Game Guard for this game.

    I will study how this works. No one on this game has yet figured out how to disable it or emulate it, game guard from nprotect that is. So what I am thinking is to get it to detect when something has been altered. The game uses a size detection, and extra items running, I can also implant this.

  24. #24
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    I think what he is doing is NOP my account detections inside the code.

    I have learned some with OllyDbg when trying to do this to nProtect Game Guard for this game.

    I will study how this works. No one on this game has yet figured out how to disable it or emulate it, game guard from nprotect that is. So what I am thinking is to get it to detect when something has been altered. The game uses a size detection, and extra items running, I can also implant this.
    Hm... that's actually interesting. I'm surprised you were able to get past Game Guard.

    If I may ask, for which game is your application targeting?

    Also, the irony with OllyDbg being used to help create the app and the fact that it's being used to crack it, is not lost on me
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    "game trainer" is the same as calling the act of robbing a bank "wealth redistribution"....

  25. #25
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Hm... I'm not sure why you're unwilling to say which game it is. You were quick to respond to everything, but that

    But that's OK. It's Silkroad Online, yes? And the guy cracking you app is this guy?

    While reading the posts, I also found this to be especially interesting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    "game trainer" is the same as calling the act of robbing a bank "wealth redistribution"....

  26. #26
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    And even after he emulated everything you don't know his IP? O_o

    You should really start a database of blocked IP's (including proxys) to block these types of people. To emulate anything he needs to download at least once, doesn't he? Blocking that would make it harder for him to obtain the files at first. Anyone helping him (kids?) risk getting banned from your program as well. Look for odd behaviour. Set up a certain download routine. Different routine? IP ban. Be harsh!

    Make any "attempt" to crack your program result in a total ban from your online service. I am only afraid the person you refer to is probably watching this thread as well, so yeah...

    Other than that he is probably a good hacker knowing the "tools" to convert any program into readable machine code translations. Adding hash keys to verify downloading a file is possible, but he can probably read those back in the source code. How did he manage to obtain your database scripts though? It should be pure input/output, how can he possible know the code behind it?!

    And really, if he now knows the entire infrastructure of your program you are pretty much doomed. He could rewrite everything from scratch if he'd like, and update patches just as you would...

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by bergerkiller View Post
    And really, if he now knows the entire infrastructure of your program you are pretty much doomed. He could rewrite everything from scratch if he'd like, and update patches just as you would...
    I think the OP needs to focus more on server side protection as you're suggesting. The client is obfuscated, but not very well. I was able to de-obfuscate most it very easily.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    "game trainer" is the same as calling the act of robbing a bank "wealth redistribution"....

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by weirddemon View Post
    While reading the posts, I also found this to be especially interesting.
    Interesting, isn't it?

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    I think its funny how your on here... ^ is cracking the bot.

  30. #30
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    if you help this little fella, you'll contribute to the following things:
    - him earning 2,99 euros per month (totally untaxed and illegal);
    - him hacking game accounts of his "customers" in casehe closes his bot project;
    - piracy - no valid license posession of his "visual studio 2011"
    - ripping people the money off without even giving them proper software support.

    now i know this isn't something you care about. i'm just letting you know.
    i exposed him, and i think it would good of you guys knowing the truth about this guy

    enough evidences have been at epvpers (link quoted by jumalauta).

    Have a nice day

  31. #31
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    I think its funny how your on here... ^ is cracking the bot.
    Well, you should have expected him to show up eventually. I didn't think he would actually comment, but if he's constantly working on hacking your application, it only makes sense he'd be here figuring out what you're doing before it's even implemented, so he can prepare for it.

    Battle of the wits! I love it
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    "game trainer" is the same as calling the act of robbing a bank "wealth redistribution"....

  32. #32

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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Actually, silkbotter. You have it all wrong, I am not HoLy, I am simpily using his bot as an example to prevent mine from being hacked. You should have arleady known I have my own coding as well. I just needed some examples to slow mr jum up there down, don't say this stuff in my threads when you know that Murgen does not = HoLy. I did not create holy bot,I am talking about wBot...

    My copy of Visual Studio is Legit, I got it because I go to college and its free for college students @ academic alliance.

  33. #33
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    not yours?
    ok.i will quote you:
    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    I am trying to prevent someone cracking my application.

    They completely Emulated my server its running on that sends the data back and fourth.

    So my first instinct was, to make it auto shut down pc when OllyDBG Opens, because that is what they are doing it with. But then I thought, they can open the program with ollydbg before they execute it.

    I have it already where it generates a hash etc etc.

    Any ideas? I am really not enjoying this.

    The hacker uses OllyDeRoX & ASM to do this.
    bot stuff is forbidden in this forum.

    little hint: read your "visual studio terms again". you may use vs for private purposes, and NOT for commercial purposes.

    here another quote of the not-your-project:
    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    He has leeched it to the public. This tool is my income, it is an mmorpg bot. I know, this forum doesn't support bots, im not asking for help programming, I am asking for help securing.


    you already fooled 50% of your "customers". you are trying the same thing here. i guess you got exposed again, huh?

  34. #34
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    Re: Preventing Cracks



    I see where this goes. Time for an admin to lock this thread up before we get oppositions that try to physically hack eachother.

  35. #35
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Murgen View Post
    My copy of Visual Studio is Legit, I got it because I go to college and its free for college students @ academic alliance.
    I think that you'll find that the academic version of VS is for learning purposes only. You are not allowed to use it for commercial gain.

  36. #36
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    This thread and all links are now saved on my computer

    And now, there's a professional hacker on the forum!

  37. #37
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    The VS argument's silly. The Express Edition has everything you need to write any application, it's free, and it has no limitation. It really doesn't matter because we can't prove what version is on his machine, and the MSDNAA versions don't fingerprint files so there's no way to prove it was developed with that version (other than the public admission that was made.)

    I'm not going to help with the anti-cracking efforts. Game bots are against the terms of this site. Game bots have ruined my experience in MMOs by making it impossible for me to fight the mobs needed to progress. It's questionable at best but I personally feel it's unethical.

    The golden rule of fighting piracy is to release an exceptional product at an appropriate price. Ethical people have no qualms about paying for useful software. If you know your customers are unethical, this goes out the window. All methods of software protection are a manifestation of distrust. The stronger your protection, the more user-hostile it can become.

    When you chose to write a game bot, you should have been aware your customers are already accustomed to violating terms of service. Game botters are people who want to gain the benefits of playing a game for a long time without paying the time costs that are associated. Is it really surprising that these customers would also like to use the bot without paying the associated costs?

    Anti-piracy has a difficulty of scale. You're one person. There's n pirates who would like to use your software for free. Maybe some of them are more talented than you. Even if they aren't, know that for every hour you spend on anti-piracy they can spend 100 or more on piracy. Microsoft's spent billions of dollars on their copy protection, yet cracked versions of Windows 7 were widely available before its release. If billions of dollars and hundreds of professionals with expertise in security cannot protect their software, you're not going to do so by yourself or with the assistance of a ragtag group of forum posters. The people that know how to do this stuff get paid a lot to do it and their employment contracts do not let them help other people for free. And their software's still vulnerable.

    Locks keep honest people honest. Usually a small layer of protection like obfuscation is enough to keep the pirates at bay because individuals tend to write niche software that's deployed on a small scale. You're in a crowded niche with high demand for cracks. It's like you had to choose a place for a bank vault and you selected a high-crime neighborhood.

    Microsoft can thrive despite rampant piracy because it has several demographics. Enterprise customers can't hide they use Windows nor can they afford the embarrassment or costs of a trial; piracy in these organizations is almost always accidental. Small business customers want to grow and know at some point they can't hide their use of the software; the lawsuit will end their business so they pay up. Individuals are harder to detect and harder to prosecute; MS is content with making it difficult enough for individuals to pirate that Joe Sixpack is more likely to damage his computer than successfully crack Win7.

    You're in the unfortunate position of having only one demographic. This demographic has questionable ethics. You likely don't make enough money to prosecute many of them. The field of bots is crowded, so if you cripple your bot when piracy is detected they'll move to another anyway. The presence of a very dedicated cracker means your bot is doomed. If I were you, I'd find a niche of ethical customers with no good solutions for their problems. You'll still have piracy, but I think you'll find the scale of MMO bot piracy is much larger than that of dentist appointment scheduling software. The users will appreciate high quality more too.

    I think you have a few good choices:
    • Worst choice: Contact the cracker and offer a percentage of your sales if he'll quit distributing cracks and help you prevent future cracks.
    • Good choice: Find a problem with no solution and ethical customers. Solve it, charge a reasonable price.
    • Questionable choice: Offer to sell your list of customers to the MMO you bot. Whether they take it or not, send them the list of known pirates.

  38. #38
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    we're talking about a bot for private-servers here. those servers are illegal and there's like no gm on-line to check members. there's even no way to contact those gm's because they are somewhere in china or vietnam

    I'm sure nobody would crack it or release a crack to public if the seller wouldn't steal account data and if he would give proper software support. the cracking may be fun for the cracker... but in my case (i didn't crack anything) i support it due to the mentioned informations/facts about the person who's asking for help on here.

  39. #39
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Can someone PLEASE lock this thread. We all know the policy concerning BOTs.
    Last edited by dbasnett; Jul 12th, 2011 at 06:44 PM.
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  40. #40
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    Re: Preventing Cracks

    Use ASPack Or Armadillo it's very useful for encryp the app @ All
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