+HCU: Academy of Reverse Engineering

hcu97 Founded by +ORC in April 1996 hcu98

Project 7: Most stupid protections
Updated in September 1999

[Poor shareware programmers] [Useful for beginners] [Essays]

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Programmers Corner Packers & Unpackers Unassigned
Project 0: Wdasm reversing Project 1: Hexeditors & co Project 2: Softice & Numega's
Project 3: Dongles cracking Project 4: CD-Rom faking Project 5: Netscape ameliorating
Project 6: Crippled targets Project 7: Most stupid schemes Project 8: VisualBasic cracking
Project 9: Micro$oft bashing

most stupid
Most stupid protection

Poor shareware programmers

Poor shareware programmers... they would like soo much to concentrate on their own nice petty code, but -alas!- they have to wage battle against hordes of pirates, thousand of "serial numbers afecionados", their own concurrence (may be their most dangerous enemies), and, last but not least, all little wannabye crackers on the wide wide web (I did not included us reverse engineers in this list, because we are not their enemies and their struggle against us would have the same chances of paper against scissors :-)
Some of them, in their deep desperation (and unbelievable assembly ignorance) resolve to "buy" already made "commercial" protection schemes, most of which don't work at all (which does not wonder, being produced by "extremely mercantile" minds), as we will demonstrate in this project, started 05 July 1997

Useful for beginners

Please note!: This section is EXTREMELY useful not only for protectors (in order to avoid at least the most obvious mistakes you could do protectiong your software, but also for all beginners in the reversing arena. Most code reversed here is extremely simple, and you'll be able in many case to follow its flow sitting in your armchair, without even the need of running the target. It is tehrefore high suitable for all those readers that have never 'trusted' themselves (yet) in reversing code. It's easy, it's great fun and, as you'll soon learn, there's no end of such stupid "faux pas" around...


05 Jul 1997 Aesculapius Hex Workshop 32 v. 2.53 Weak protection schemes are worse than no protection at all
05 Jul 1997 TheChineese   Claris Home Page version 2.0 Stupid time trial limits
05 Jul 1997 Frog's Print   SmartDraw for Windows95, Version 3.11 Heawy Stupid anti-crackers protection
09 Jul 1997 plushmm   A pretty stupid scheme: Spam Exterminato it's all there... "autocracked
28 Jul 1997 +SNikKkEL   Another "blacklist" protection Hypersnap-DX version 3.02 Key generator, ASM CODE
06 Aug 1997 Frog's Print   PhotoShop 4.0 / Digimarc Commercial stupidity - Digimarc downfall
14 Aug 1997 +Sync   SoftWrapper - Cracking Windows Calculator? how to reverse engineer a simple "anti-Winice" protection scheme
15 Aug 1997 iNCuBuS++   Cracking WinHacker95 2.0 MSVCRT.dll reverse engineering
17 Aug 1997 Jon   Kremlin 1.1, a stupidly protected encryption utility An useful encryptor for our studies, btw
17 Aug 1997 FanTC   Cracking Comments v1.3 If they would only make it so easy for us every time
28 Aug 1997 Mammon_   EnTray-Vous, Merci How NOT to use the Registry to protect your software
29 Aug 1997 PNA   Ulead PhotoImpact Trial 3.01 "Protections" that tell you the name of the calling dll and of the calling function
31 Aug 1997 Flipper   iniquity's inequality protection scheme some tips about pascal reverse engineering
04 Sept 1997 SiuL+Hacky   "Mental" cracking: techfacts95 v1.3 Am I dreaming?
04 Sep 1997 x86   Bypassing Ready made Commercial Protection Schemes (RSAgent32) Cracking Xing Technology's Mpeg Player
22 Sep 1997 +ReZiDeNt   DLL-based schemes are *dead* A long overdue lesson for shareware programmers
24 Sep 1997 Frog's Print   Bullet Proof FTP V1.0 hidden, bloated exe creation
24 Sep 1997 Flipper Cracking SendMail 2.0 for Windows NT Obvious Name Protections
27 Oct 1997 Snatch   An interesting tool: Numega Smartcheck 5.0 Echoing a silly "install" and trial protection scheme
02 Nov 1997 +DataPimp   Cracking Unlocker for newbyes Defeating Lame Commercial Protection Schemes
06 Nov 1997 A+heist   Symantec Visual café trial version 1.0 a very silly protection scheme on a very interesting target
05 Dec 1997 Vizion   The Easy Protection Schemes And The Lazy Protectionists InstallShield Software Corporation protection schemes
12 Dec 1997 PipoMan   BEGINNERS: Prassi CD-REP trial stupid protection dead listing a very easy protection scheme

most stupid
Most stupid protection 1997

Hardcoded and unencrypted registration codes: a touristic tour for beginners
16 Mar 1998 The Nameless BEGINNERS: Big tent, little circus Observations and Thoughts springing from an mIRC 5.3 crack
26 Apr 1998 Kabhoet BEGINNERS: Menu disable and active by Register Number Dynamic Procedure Call and crack by the stupid way
29 Jun 1998 XaVaX PhotoShop 5.0 / Digimarc 1.6.82 Commercial stupidity is alive & well
29 Jun 1998 cYnAppZ copy your own working serial number from the *.cfg file
16 Sep 98 Sanity cyberme.htm TU: Cracking an uninstaller ~ [Filemonitor & Deadlisting]
02 Dec 98 Sojourner rhino.htm What Time Does the Library Open? A "Cinderella" protection for beginners
24 Sep 99 LaptoniC rhino.htm Cracking Access Databases (Beating M$ with his own tools)

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