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Thread: About Reversing

  1. #1

    About Reversing

    Hi all.

    I have a general question about reverse engineering. Most boards or webpages, that are giving information about that theme seem to be damned to be somewhere in the mid of guy-playing-with-code and evil-cracker information.
    Often theres not even a distinction between cracking and reversing.
    So what is reversing?
    Is it just something, some guys do when they are bored or is it something that also exists in the real world - something that (few) ppl use, to earn their money?

    I'm asking this question, because that whole theme is really fascinating me - i am really at the beginning and my non-existent mathematical intelligence isnt making things better, but i wonder if that stuff is of any use for my life - or for the life after my education
    (talkin about software reversing, not social reversing which IS really needed to get a real idea of who i am and what the world around me is [in my opinion]).

    I read something about legacy systems, where reversers are needed to maintain them - but i didn't find any real information about that on the net, don't even know what it is.

    Any thoughts are welcome

    I promise that I have read the FAQ and tried to use the Search to answer my question.

  2. #2
    welll....for the most part, I think what *we* do, is helpful in real world situations as far as, we try to learn everything about how programs work right down to how they interact with the operating system.

    As for the distinction between reversing and cracking.....cracking is just circumventing the protection......when reversing, we try to understand what's going on & why....I think most of us do a bit of each.


    Patching a jump or fishing a serial = cracking

    Adding an import to the program to make a window stay on top = reversing

    Just my humble opinion ;-)
    I promise that I have read the FAQ and tried to use the Search to answer my question.

  3. #3
    ...and of course the ultimate programmers nightmare..... the k3yg3nn3r }>

    How must it feel to have your commercially protected treasure ripped apart and some one reverse your algo and release a keygen :-(

    raped & dumb naked }>

    mmmmmmm, maybe i'll release my bi-tarts keygens now }>

    Also, reversing comes in useful, I just found UltraEdit does not run under W2K-SP2.... :-(

    I promise that I have read the FAQ and tried to use the Search to answer my question.

  4. #4
    f*cks I pressed refresh and posted twice....well did anyone else have a prob with UE8 with SP2 ???


    original boring repeated text replaced !
    I promise that I have read the FAQ and tried to use the Search to answer my question.

  5. #5
    I have win2k+sp2 and ultraedit works fine for me... just not softice.

    are you using driverstudio 2.0.1 or the new beta?


    cuddly_SplAj (07-08-2001 05:10):
    f*cks I pressed refresh and posted twice....well did anyone else have a prob with UE8 with SP2 ???


    original boring repeated text replaced !
    I promise that I have read the FAQ and tried to use the Search to answer my question.

  6. #6
    Hiya to all.

    Given the opportunity to post some mindless opinions, how could I possibly resist ;-).

    The whole reversing vs cracking debate is a pretty cyclical one, every 2 or 3 months its the topic of a thread or 2 and its been done to death. I don't regard most of what go's on here as much more than simple 'protections' cracking and I don't seek to ridicule those that find this is their interest, at the end of the day though the challenge seems always to be to break the minds of whichever protectionist happens to be on some some target x that you downloaded from the web this week.

    To Yoda : The whole 'lets call it reversing' on websites is just a simple counter measure for many dubious cracking sites to try and prevent being removed instantly, it was one of the very first things I did in 1997 (at least thats the way I see it anyway), in some ways simple cracking tutorials might be regarded as somewhat more intelligent than the millions of key generator repositories.

    I disagree somewhat with splaj, I don't think reversing or whatever the politically correct term is today should even be remotely connected to protection circumvention, I find now (I didn't in my early years) that cracking protections provides pretty scant amusement and scant real knowledge, I also find that the people who have abandoned this approach are actually much more knowledgable for it (I need not mention any names).

    Personally for me, its now a simple cat and mouse game every time, a game I can't win and a game I'm pretty bored of, a new version of software x this week, we deprotect it the next and so on.....(in the immortal words of +gthorne) I think I expressed this pretty much on another thread not so long ago.

    I recognise the need however that not everyone feels like I do, to get people interested in say 'reversing' we have to appeal to the 'cracking mentality', its probably what got 99% of us started in the first place, it did with me.

    I do really believe now it is time for some of us to start producing meaningfull material, real reversing information (not here's how I deprotected and broke the mind of this protectionist), look at say 3 or 4 essays (Stone, +spath, Iceman & Quine), those are documents that will and have stood the test of time, reversing <leim application vx.y> will not.

    I've gone on one of my protracted rants yet again ;-), at the end of the day if you are content to deal with just protections cracking then so be it your perogative and good luck to you too, I don't think you'll learn much more than pretty trite repititions in the process though ;-) (prove me wrong).

    Regards and then some.


  7. #7
    Reverse engineering is required to keep programmers honest.
    Often evil software (like radiate/aurate) and snake oil
    encryption are figured out by reverse engineers, and
    bad software behavior is made public. Reverse engineering
    is sometimes required for legacy systems, and this can lead to
    heartache, especially if you have the file specs and source
    and it's still not clear what the program is up to.
    This thread should be moved to the general discussions though I think.
    I promise that I have read the FAQ and tried to use the Search to answer my question.

  8. #8
    Wow CrackZ you knew what I was going to say already

    Ok, this is my final lame point on this boring topic.....}>

    The career of a cracker/reverser/programmer/protectioninst :-

    1) You start of your career on the darkside, learning all about SI and debugging. You crack some shits and think you are the nuevo-cracko-leeeto. The adrenaline rush is 100% pure.

    2) After 1-2 years you get fcksin good . Any target can be fixed
    somehow. You start learning to program ASM. The adrenaline rush is 50%

    3) After another year your ASM is pretty good too and you've got some skill there bud. You can make patches & keygens et voila. - now the moral Q 'do you release them or not & do you join a group or not ' ...... ? Here will decide your future a little. No more adrenaline rush.

    4) After another year you have done it all, unpacking everything, making keygens, coding patches, some tools, dongles are defeated....blah blah. You definately stop releasing your shit to the lamers.

    5) After ~4 years you come to realise it is a cat and mouse game
    and start learning some real programming skills and actually think about protection.....can you do it, can you make a better safedisc.
    Can that stuff you learned be useful now ?

    6) Those fcksin lamers keep nagging for keygens and cracks so you realise the whole world is full of lamers :-( ....So you switch sides. Become a protectionist or programmer of utilities. No more
    cracking except for nostalgic reasons. Mr White.

    Or the wife trashes your PC's threatens to divorce you and take the kids with her..........and you give it up to become the perfect husband and father and live happily ever after :* where did I put that tongue in cheek emoticon ?

    I promise that I have read the FAQ and tried to use the Search to answer my question.

  9. #9
    hilarious thread all 'revers
    I promise that I have read the FAQ and tried to use the Search to answer my question.

  10. #10

    Philosophy? :>


    Interesting and sad - looks like nearly noone on this board seems to be interested in the question, or interested in thinking about it.
    How come

    I think that on this board there are really many guys that have an idea of reversing, who can code stuff, add new functions to programs, maybe guys, that can crack every damn protection in the world.
    What the masses are inheriting from them are mostly every apps around for absolutely no money, all games that are coming out on every console be it a gaming console or a pc.
    But are they damned to keep this skills for the time after their work? Coming home, maybe totally exhausted from work and sitting down, starting their progs and beginning the stuff that they are really interested in and living with that sense of paranoia that in every moment their door could be broken up and the police coming in, busting them and scanning their pc, sometimes crushing a whole group.
    I'm searching a sense behind the sense .
    [ Perhaps the elite of the reversers are programmers for big companies and in the evening cracking the protections they created because that's their way to say "c'mon boss go fuck yourself" . ]

    +Splaj - your reply receives a negative touch through your concentration on the feeling of the "commercial programmers". Do we care about their feelings? Wasn't there something else, that the oldschool crackers and reversers tried to imply with their new born skills? Some general idea of the world perhaps that keeps us all together that for me and most of the guys leaving the scene seem to be totally vanished.

    I know that my posts can be really chaotic and perhaps i should accustom myself writing a summary at the end :P.

    We are living in a world that will not need a god to be destructed if humanity continues to act how they do at the moment so I'm seeking every answer i can get - perhaps answers will some day change something.


    I promise that I have read the FAQ and tried to use the Search to answer my question.

  11. #11
    Hi Joda

    Legacy reversers are the one that maintain an existing system cos the programmer/seller has gone bust..... so they either buy an expensive upgrade with all the problems a new system creates or keep fixing/adapting the old system

    The world will destroy itself without reversers/crackers, there are more fundamental problems for the worlds leaders to worry about
    than the demise of M$ and Intel - and now AMD !

    Police kicking down the door, mmmm one small guy cracking software he never uses and does not release to the public or try and profit from. Baaaa. No. Just go to your sunday market and
    see all those DVD's CD's Fake Levis RoBeek, N1ke etc etc. Not one has the brand name +SplAj with the trademark 'patch+play' on it ! Not guilty.

    hey, but let loose a virus or try and hack the local bank atm. THEN YOU ARE IN *BIG* FCKSIN TROUBLE !

    So, sorry I was 'negative' for you. You have to really concentrate on my splurj cos in there is a message ..... I like unpacking, I like cracking, I like reversing algos and making keygens :-) BUT I ain't no Hambo or member of a group bla blah. I got into this 'public' domain regarding cracks cos i HATE CD checking......and wanted to rid the world of the stupid idea of having a costly CD in your PC for the kids to destroy and then what, buy it again :-( anyway I disappeared off the face of the real world in early 98 and resurfaced in late 99 after practising my SI skills on as many PC magazine CD's I could get on each trip outa here

    Now I have the internet........and here i am, R!sc blew the world of PC game CD's apart, so i am not needed for that crusade, nothing to do with piracy ! My comment on keygenners is valid...... it's a purer form of reversing , ask Duelist so now I like to concentrate on 'commercial disprotection'.....

    My wife hates (me ? ) and my 3 PC's and often swears she will bin them if I don't give up cracking ! I crack all day at work, then come home with targets I D/L and carry on all night. About 10 hours a day ! FOR PHUN }>

    The weekend I save for the swimmming pool and beach BBQ...but I still stew over some S/W problem and how to tackle it :-)

    I can give it up anytime I want .........:-)

    and my profession.........OFFSHORE TAX CONSULTANT

    OK ?
    I promise that I have read the FAQ and tried to use the Search to answer my question.

  12. #12
    An interesting side to this to topic is the fact, that most (perhaps all) of the reversers/crackers around here, that do manage to pull off some nice code, tend to release it for free. Examples include code such as:
    - icedump
    - frogs ice
    - revirgin
    - safedisc annihilator
    - wdump
    - and countless others
    I'm not saying that people are total idealists, going for the "software should be free", but seemingly most ppl share the feeling that knowledge should be free and public - hence they give away what's theirs.

    Apart from that more positive side to the discussion, i have to say I'm inclined to see myself as a common (or uncommon, not exactly sure which) thief - I grab software I need, make it work and keep it. Not proud of it, but that's life.

    And of course, as quite a few ppl have mentioned, reversing is fun, like a chess game. Can't seem to put the analytical side of my brain to rest, lol.

    Blue skies

  13. #13
    I hesitate to answer this post, I'm sure there are a few others also.

    I would imagine that most of the people that hang out here reverse/crack stuff because they enjoy the challenge. It's like a game of chess, trying to out think, out wit another person.
    I suppose it has a practical use for a software programmer, but I dont know how many here actually write software for commercial release.
    If you had to maintain a legacy system then I would definitly think that the ability to reverse and understand different OS would be very important. You have to be able to keep hardware that is no longer supported running, and integrate software so it would suit a particular need. (if I understand correctly)

    I could have studied dongle protection and made a very lucrative carrer selling cracked software that is worth tens of thousands of dollars. I didn't because thats not what I want. I want knowlege.
    I enjoy the fact that there is this little group that can keep the software people honest. If they thought they could get away with it you would be paying for everything like it or not.

    The original point before I started yapping?
    Oh, Do it because you want to know/learn/understand/entertain yourself.

    Peace, Woodmann
    I promise that I have read the FAQ and tried to use the Search to answer my question.

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