copy protection

This is a discussion on copy protection within the Windows Programming forums, part of the Platform Specific Boards category; i have completed a program and want to give it out to selected individuals. but theres some i don't trust ...

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    copy protection

    i have completed a program and want to give it out to selected individuals. but theres some i don't trust and i think they will copy my program and send it to ppl i don't want to have. what can i do so my program will only work on the persons computer who i have chosen? i was thinking of something similar to cd keys in commercial gaming but i don't know how to go about doing that.

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    You could just have a dialog box appear before the game starts asking for a N-Digit password and if it is not in a pre-defined list, exit. If you want to get crazy, you can do some winsock business where it'll send you a packet with information about the computer using your application and you can verify the ip with those or the "select" people that are supposed to use your program. It really depends how much work you want to put into it. Also I guess you could put a 15 day trial mode in it if you wanted.
    "...the results are undefined, and we all know what "undefined" means: it means it works during development, it works during testing, and it blows up in your most important customers' faces." --Scott Meyers

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    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    It really depends on
    a) how valuable your program is
    b) how desperately your users want to crack it
    c) how much skill your users (or people the users know) have to crack whatever scheme you come up with.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
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    here's what the program is. it is an autobot for a web-based game. i only want some people to have it. i can't just put a password on the program cuz they can still copy the program and send it and tell other ppl the password. y i need this so bad is cuz if every1 in the game got their hands on this it might be bad.

    so in this situation the program is valueable. users will try desperately to copy it and spread it to their friends. there are around 7,000 ppl in the game i'm sure there are a handfull with advanced skills in cracking.

    i was thinking of something like that idea before where i make another smaller program where they have to download that one first and that smaller program will get me their computers specific info. then i can customize the program to only work with that computer. the thing is i don't know how to get specific info from the users computer.

  5. #5
    Code Monkey Davros's Avatar
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    >so in this situation the program is valueable. users will try desperately to copy it and spread it to their friends.

    Exactly how valuable? How many hours are you willing to spend protecting your program? If you implement a simple password protection scheme, it will be cracked in no time. If you implement a slightly more complex one, it will be cracked in no time. However, if you are willing to get involved, you will be able to protect your program.

    Alternatively, you could use an anti-crack development tool, such as Armadillo. Here: http://siliconrealms.com/index.shtml

    The most common DIY technique is for the program to run a check sum against its file, and refuse to run unless it matches an expected value. This expected value must be stored outside the exe. However, on it's own this won't be enough. You'll need to combine this with other techniques to prevent crackers from disabling your anti-crack code.

    For more info:

    http://www.searchlores.org/protec/protec.htm
    Last edited by Davros; 07-19-2004 at 03:32 AM.
    OS: Windows XP
    Compilers: MinGW (Code::Blocks), BCB 5

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    exactly how valueable? "it is an autobot for a web-based game". its a semi-cheat. its a time saver. its an easier way of doing things and the thing it does is a major part of the game. on a 1 - 10 scale this is about an 8.

    i'll check out those sites

    is it possible for the program to look at a file on the internet and see if a keycode is taken and secure it that way?

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    can any1 help?

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    Mmm. Purple.
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    The check it against a list of used serials is deffinatly a plausible option, alot of online games are using it nowadays, but if you have 7000 players, that might mean 7000 keys, and if they are all generated the same way it may be easy to guess them

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    actually its the 7,000 players i don't want to get their hands on it. i only want about 30 - 40 to have the program.

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    you dont happen to be talking about RuneScape?

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    i don't happen to be but i'll add that that is a sweet game especially with the new upgrade but i stopped playing long ago. i think any kind of bot for runescape would be too hard to make. and i think there's more than 7000 players in that game.

    krappykoder how would i go about using serial keys?

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    which prog lang is the autobot made in, and is it an EXE?

    EDIT: If you want, i cud add you on msn (if you have it), i know a few ways to make sure only those few people use it...
    Last edited by X PaYnE X; 07-21-2004 at 04:01 PM.

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    i'll get your msn tomorrow, tonight i have plans...

    the languages is c++/windows programming. yea it's an EXE.

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    If it is an exe, you could use the hard disk serial number to generate the key. This way your exe is uniquely tied to the user's computer system.

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    so...if i made the hard disk serial number be the key for that individual program...would the user be able copy the program and email it to some1 else and have it work for them?

    x payne x whats your msn

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