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Old 09-13-2002, 09:53 PM
Scott Rudy Scott Rudy is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 18
Pirated Serial Numbers

One of the problems that software developers and manufatures are having to deal with is Key-Code generators. Even though you may have purchased your software from the actual software company doesn't matter, what matters is the fact that there are some programming geniuses out there that are building Key-Code generators for all types of software.

What happens is these Key-Code generators are being used to open software that has been pirated and either passed on freely or sold to other people. Sometimes the Key-Code generators are passed on with the pirated software or just one code is generated by the software pirate and passed on with the software.

The people that receive the pirate copy and or the Key-Code generators will inadvertently take there pirated software online for possible updates and patches, this is where duplicate Key-Code numbers are discovered and the number is now put on a pirated numbers list. The numbers list puts blocks into place watching for these numbers and has no way of knowing if the user is legal or not.

If you have had say PS-5 your Key-Code should have started out something like this PWK500U, then you upgraded to PS-6 the Key-Code would have started out something like this PWW600U. What we are looking at here is the fact that the codes are somewhat simular the 500U means version 5, the 600U means version 6. Simular with the beginning letters of the code, Photoshop "P", After Effects "E", Dimensions "D", Indesign "I", Photoshop Elements code is built from MS Visual Basic code generator which is simular to the Key-Code that you have to enter when you install any MS-OS or other MS software.

Key-Code generators are built into Developmental Programming Kits, people that are in school studying programming have access to these code generators along with people that work for the actual software developers (Adobe, Microsoft, etc.). So how secure are Key-Codes? Well our priates are not limited to 15 year old computer hackers.

From what I understand Adobe has already had some major problems with PS-7 pirated Key-Codes and they are now using a different code generator for the newer PS-7 shipments. Will this solve the problem? No, this will just slow down the pirating for a little while and supply a new challenge for the software pirating people, someone will solve it in no time.

When they changed the DVD copy protection code to keep people from illegally copying DVD's, the new code was on the Internet within two weeks. Where did it come from? An employee that worked for the company that developed the new copy protection code.

Macromedia Dreamweaver MX; there are two versions, the standard commercial version and the academic version. What's the difference? Price, the academic version costs less to make it affordable to students but there is one little catch. The academic version has a built in code generator that acts as a becon, if the academic version is used for commercial use or any web sites are built and published to the web, the software will emmit this built in code. Macromedia has a web spy that constantly looks for these codes searching for web sites constructed and published using the academic version of Dreamweaver.

Sorry for the long post but I thought it might be interesting to some of you.
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Old 09-13-2002, 10:50 PM
DannyRaphael's Avatar
DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
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Being so far removed from hacking, cracking and theft protection, this is facinating to me, Scott.

I've been reading several of your posts tonight. Each is a quality contribution.

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Old 09-13-2002, 11:49 PM
Scott Rudy Scott Rudy is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 18
Originally posted by DannyRaphael
Being so far removed from hacking, cracking and theft protection, this is facinating to me, Scott.

I've been reading several of your posts tonight. Each is a quality contribution.

I'm no hacker or cracker but when I'm interested in a hardware or software product I try to learn as much as possible about it first. In doing product research I find infomation on protection rights and violations and somtimes links that take me to sites that explane more in depth the problems that software developers are having to deal with.

Funny thing is I saw a TV show about a hackers convention in Las Vegas and they told a lot about security problems and gave a web address to a site that explains a lot. Its been some time ago and I don't have the address anymore.
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