Oct 1, 2008


Most of them are unaware of types of cracks. They just need cracks to run any s/w but should have atleast the knowledge of what are these cracks, i am writing the definitions of cracks for those ones.

There are several basic types of cracks:

1. Serial codes (serials) : This is the simplest type of crack. Very often it has nothing to do with cracking or crackers. Serial is a special text code given by software manufacturer to anyone who buys software license to remove trial / demo limitations, usually by simply pasting that code into appropriate registration field of the program.

Crackers get those codes by the means of reverse engineering, by understanding how the registration algorithm works and generating serial code that would "register" the software.

It is generally very easy for software manufacturers to counter the distribution of serials. Normally, all they have to do is "blacklist" stolen / widely available serial in the next version of their software or their online database (if software is registered online).

2. Registration files (regfiles or keyfiles) : This type of crack works in the same way as Serial, except that user is given a special file (generated by an algorithm known only to the software maker), instead of a simple text code, to register the program.

Regfiles are usually either special (and often encrypted) files, or simple Windows Registry (.reg) files. It is much harder for a cracker, though, to crack this type of protection, as he must understand the keyfile generation algorithm.

As its equally easy for software manufacturers to counter regfiles' distribution, as it happens with serials – a simple blacklisting will work.
3. Serial generators (keygenerators, keymakers, keygens) : This type of cracks are much harder to create than previous ones, as the cracker must not only fully understand the serial code generation algorithm, but also be able to recreate it.

Keygens often take days and even weeks to write; however, a working keygen is a demonstration of a total and clean "victory" of the cracker over the protection creator.

Countering keygen distribution is much harder for the software manufacturer; in most of cases they will have to totally change the serial generation algorithm (a simple change will result in subsequent simple and fast cracking by the same cracker).

4. Patches : This is the most widespread type of cracks. A patch is a small program that alters the target software files to remove or modify the part of code that is responsible for protection limitations or registration process. As a result, the patch either makes software "think" it is registered, or simply removes limitations like time limit, nag screens, enables non-working features etc.

A simple protection patch is usually easy to create by comparing binary code of registered version and "trial" version and then creating a "difference patch" using certain software. Most of patches are hard to create though and require a thorough knowledge of Assembler programming language and good reverse engineering skills.

Countering patches is usually not a very hard task for software manufacturers; in most cases, a simple software version update renders the patch useless, because patches modify the binary code and are usually created to modify specific parts in that code, which won't work if code differs (even slightly) from the original.
5. Loaders : Technically, loaders are a variation of patches, except that they modify binary code after the program is ran, i.e. loaded into computer memory. Usually, loaders are used to crack software with encrypted binary files, which make it very hard to write a normal patch.

6. Pre-cracked files ("cracked EXE") : This type of cracks includes parts of software itself, already altered by cracker. Cracked EXEs are extremely hard or even impossible to counter by software manufacturers, and are considered by some as "unfair play".

Ok, now we know about types of cracks and what they do. How to correctly use them?

First of all, scan the downloaded file with a GOOD antivirus. We recommend doing this with any executable file .exe downloaded from the Internet. Remember, crackers never infect their cracks with viruses; ALWAYS, scan cracks with antiviruses before running.

Second, READ THE NFO! Most of crack packages include brief instruction on how to use that specific crack, which is usually located in NFO or TXT files supplied with the package. ALWAYS read NFO before running the crack. It may contain very important instructions; reading NFO will save you from many problems later.
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