View Full Version : Phone home..?

January 25th, 2008, 14:26
Not long ago I installed a program for registry maintenance. I used keygen to unlock the full

function of the program.I went to my firewall and I blocked the app from accessing the internet

before starting it. The program worked just like it should but, after about a month it locked itself

telling me that the copy is not legal. My question is how did it happen. From what I understand it

had to somehow access the internet, But then the question is: How was it able to manage that? (I

blocked the program) Or is there something else I'm not understanding about it's working?

psl help

January 25th, 2008, 14:41
Of course there is something "else" you are apparently not understanding about what it might be doing, because you do not appear to have done any basic research on how a program might know to "shut itself off" after a period of time.

Are you basically familiar with programs which offer "time trials"??? Have you considered and/or done any research into how a program might "know" the time has expired or how they might attempt to (gasp) hide that process from the uninformed user???

I don't know about your particular program and you may not specifically identify it here and ask someone to give you the answer on how to "crack" it, but here's an educated guess for your consideration.

The program is "designed" to "phone home" to determine that it is "properly" registered with the company which produced it. YOU blocked that process from occurring by blocking it's access to the internet. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

However, obviously the company already considered that effort, didn't they. All they would have had to do is include in the program a function which knows when it was installed and keeps track of how long it's been installed and "whether or not" it's registration has been validated. When that time limit has been reached and the "validation" routine has not been run and some "code" in the program, or registry, or file somewhere changed to the "proper" configuration or contents, BOOM the program stops working, just like any other strictly "time trial" application.

So, in this case, it would appear that "No access" means the changes where not made, the program was, generally speaking, not "validated" and stopped working after 30 days. No surprise there at all.

This is certainly a likely method. Now, if YOU wanted to reverse the part of the program which might have done that, THEN YOU have a whole lot of work ahead of YOU.

Do not ask here how to do that or ask someone here to do that for you.

Make SURE you actually READ THE FRIGGIN FAQ!


January 25th, 2008, 16:05
To pile on:
It is unlikely that a program would dare to change the firewall settings, or bypass the firewall altogether and proceed to phone home. Provided that your firewall is worth its salt. Did you check the logs? Does the program now appears as Internet authorized in the firewall settings?
I would hope that firewall vendors are zealous in guarding against these inside out hacks!

January 25th, 2008, 17:00
This is a serious question: do you, JMI, ever get tired of posting these long-winded vitriolic diatribes slapping people around for not reading the FAQ and/or not doing enough research on their own? Not that I'm defending lazy non-FAQ reading people, but I honestly would like to know, on a personal level, if you ever tire of posting the same message hundreds of times.

January 25th, 2008, 17:29
Well, on your "personal level" it really doesn't matter whether I get tired or not.

First, I doubt you have a good grasp of the proper usage of the terms "vitriolic" or "diatribes," as neither is appropriately applied to such replies. While the term "long-winded" might be appropriate on some occasions, the messages are written for a twofold purpose, which is something other than to assuage my "ego."

First is to remind such posters that we do have Rules and the second is to attempt to lead them to the proper path of complying with them.

So far, the only thing I do get tired of, is the NEED to keep repeating what new registrants on these Forums should have discovered for themselves, which is something we went to some trouble to both call to their attention and to compose.

But to respond to your question on the "level" you intended:

Opinions are like rectums. Everyone has one, but that does not necessarily mean they all smell good.

You, of course, are entitled to your opinion, but that does not necessarily mean I need to give it any more consideration than it is worth. I have a certain "job" to accomplish here, and I do that in the hope it will help maintain the quality of the posts here.

You have no idea how many posts are simply sent off to oblivion and how many new posters still "don't get it" after they have been told more than once of our Rules and what is expected of posters here.

But, since you have been with us less than 90 days, and have shared you wisdom and philosophy so generously during all that time, I will give your comments all the careful consideration they deserve.


January 25th, 2008, 19:09
I did not check the logs but, I do realy think that some software is setup in a way that after unlocking it, it will function correctly and within say 30 days if it can not access the internet to cross check the serial # with the ones in the DB, then it will lock itself. I'm not sure if the same approach is used with a boxed software.

January 25th, 2008, 20:08
If I understand you correctly, you are saying essentially the same thing I said, only more briefly.

You were apparently sure, before you installed the software that it would phone home, hence you disabled it completing that process. It would not be substantially different from a somewhat "standard," downloadable "trial" software, in the sense that it has some function to keep track of the time from installation. In your case, we are assuming, but do not really know from what you have said, whether it tried to check with the home server and "turned off" because it failed to verify, or simply because a "timelimit" was reached without the validation having occurred, for whatever reason that might have been.

It would be fairly easy to determine whether or not the program has some "hidden" component which prevents it from running. Since it's not working at the moment anyway, you could try to "uninstall" it using the windows program to do that. I'm betting if you then re-install it, it still won't work, because whatever tells it it's been more than 30 days is likely not to be removed by a standard uninstall.

You could also try, if you know how, to use RegEdit from the CMD interface in windows and do a search for any remaining references to your target's name. But the company would be fairly careless if they have made circumventing their protection that simple.

You might also do a search on the net for your specific program, with the addition of words such as "crack," "reverse," or even "phone home." Certainly, it is most likely someone has dealt with this problem before, if someone has made a keygen for the product.

Finally, there is lots of information on these and other Forums about various methods of defeating "time trials" and how they hide the "important" stuff from prying eyes and discussing of tools which would let you keep track of what the program tries to install and where it installs it's "stuff' so that you might be able to remove the "magic" part that tells it it should "turn off."