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Thread: piracy prevention - programming solutions

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Exclamation piracy prevention - programming solutions

    Hi All,

    I needed few links of tips on piracy prevention techniques.
    The proposed software will run on CD (offline).
    The one used commonly is to generate a hardware key (a hex number) and register software with that key. The program cannot run outside that machine.
    Problem is i don't know how to make these keys so 1) they could be same even after reinstallations of OS, 2) won't be duplicated on two machines, 3) easy to code it on VB or VC.
    Target OS is win32.

    thanks and regards,

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    One obvious option is to use ethernet MAC address. The only problem is, a few machines don't have ethernet. So just have some other mechanism for ethernet-less boxes (like reading the windows registration key if you can).

    Then just send that as a string to the server, have it authenticate by comparing it against the existing key - if it's different then ask the user to phone up the support department.

    The support department can then check what's going on with that particular registration key - if it's an honest user trying to reinstall the software legitimately, then they can do it anyway.

    It's unlikely that a warez kiddie would ring the support department to have their key authorised - but besides, you can keep a track of how many different machines the same key is used on - if it's one or two, they can get away with it, once there are several, it's obvious that that key is being abused.

    The software could check periodically that its registration is still valid by asking the server. If the software had been reinstalled on another machine, previous ones would then stop working (again, don't stop working rudely, just ask user to call support).

    Keys that had obviously been abused could then be deactivated on the server, and the software could refuse to work if that key was used.

    In any case, in my experience, people will generally just crack it after a while anyway. So don't try too hard.


  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington

    Sorry to have to say it, but if you have:

    The proposed software will run on CD (offline).
    Then you are giving the security to the user to crack at their leisure? If you look around "warez" sites you will find cracked copies of just about anything, so if the big boys cannot protect their products, what chance do we have?

    I would agree with Slarty:

    In any case, in my experience, people will generally just crack it after a while anyway. So don't try too hard.
    Online is more capable of subtle defence than offline, as Slarty has explained. Even if you generate a key that is hardware configuration specific, I could still load it onto another machine and it would configure perfectly, as you have no way of recording that it has already been used? (it is on a ROM CD?).

    Once again, my apologies for being so negative, but I have not seen an offline solution to this problem. I am afraid it is down to honesty and trust?

    Good luck

  4. #4
    @ΜĮЙǐЅŦГǻţΩЯ D0pp139an93r's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    St. Petersburg, FL
    The best way would be through product activation like MS does. It's not foolproof of course, I mean how hard is it to bypass XP activation? But the only way I see of securing software at least partially is by going with an online system like nihil suggested, where each copy has a unique identifier in it, and each identifier is registered when it is installed.
    Real security doesn't come with an installer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    You may want to check this out,
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    The international ban against torturing prisoners of war does not necessarily apply to suspects detained in America\'s war on terror, Attorney General John Ashcroft told a Senate oversight committee
    -- true colors revealed, a brown shirt and jackboots

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