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Old 27 May 2019, 22:03   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Sandusky
Posts: 328
Laziest crack you ever did that still worked?

Some godlike crackers could dig into the most convoluted protections and produce truly fixed versions -- but not everyone is that good, and sometimes we took shortcuts just to get something working -- a dumb hack but it still worked. What's yours?

My example: I wanted a cracked Delitracker that didn't use a stolen key -- the right way to do it would be to remove all the protection checks, and barring that, reverse-engineer the key to produce a keygen. When I disassembled it I tried patching the key checks to always succeed, but there were additional checks that hashed the code (including itself) to detect cracked versions, etc. I was about to resign myself to fixing it, and then finding any other key checks.

Then I noticed that the hashing checks only checked the code hunks and not the data hunks, and the demo mode that let the program run for 5 minutes without a key was full-featured (aside from the notice that it was unregistered). The timeout was in seconds, in an integer variable in the data hunks -- so I just changed the timeout to $FFFFFFFF and was left with a fully featured program, other than the word unregistered in the window title, and the knowledge that it would eventually time out if I somehow managed to leave it running for the better part of a century without quitting or rebooting.

i.e. I cheesed my way out of a proper crack with a simple changed longword.
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