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BradDaBug

Reg key's!

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This seems kinda taboo to discuss, but how to registration keys work? Why can you download key generators for some stuff and other stuff you can''t? Like a key generator for Quake 3, but none for Half-Life? What makes Half-Life''s key so hard to imitate? BTW, if there turns out to be a key generator for Half Life, then forgive me. I just did a quick search. And what''s keeping a hacker (or cracker, as real hackers call them) from running my game through some decompiler and checking out the assembly and just grabbing the key checking code and designing some generator using that knowledge? And while my brain is in a fury of hacker questions, how do hack programs work? I read about that map hack for War3, and it made it sound like it just changes some stuff in the RAM and gets War3 to do stuff. How does it know what to change? Isn''t it completely random where the stuff that needs changing is going to be in memory?

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quote:
Original post by BradDaBug
This seems kinda taboo to discuss, but how to registration keys work?



Math is used in some way or another to generate the keys. Figure out how the game generates the keys, and you could create your own key generator.

quote:

Why can you download key generators for some stuff and other stuff you can''t?


Some key generating schemes are more difficult than others to hack.

quote:

Like a key generator for Quake 3, but none for Half-Life? What makes Half-Life''s key so hard to imitate?



A rogue key probably works for singleplayer, but as just about anyone can tell you, playing Half-Life or any mod on the net requires WON.net authorization. This prevents the same cdkey from being used by multiple people simultaneously... which helps cut down piracy I suppose. Only rarely have I heard of Half-Life players complain of others using their cdkey.

quote:

BTW, if there turns out to be a key generator for Half Life, then forgive me. I just did a quick search.



I wouldn''t doubt the existence of one. I''ve also heard of ways of changing one''s WON ID number, though I''m not sure if it works anymore. Hell, go purchase Half-Life. It''s well worth the money.

quote:

And what''s keeping a hacker (or cracker, as real hackers call them) from running my game through some decompiler and checking out the assembly and just grabbing the key checking code and designing some generator using that knowledge?



Nothing.

quote:

And while my brain is in a fury of hacker questions, how do hack programs work? I read about that map hack for War3, and it made it sound like it just changes some stuff in the RAM and gets War3 to do stuff. How does it know what to change? Isn''t it completely random where the stuff that needs changing is going to be in memory?



That''s a damn good question. Apparently it''s not completely random, or there''d be no such things as map hacks and trainers!

This was a rather generalized explanation of it all. There''s tutorials out there if you really want to know how to do these things. Anyone can feel free to correct me harshly if I''m wrong in my explanations.

"If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." - Albert Einstein

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I''d advise you to check out this gamasutra article:

http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20000724/pritchard_01.htm

You have to be a member, but it''s free and you get access to some great articles =]

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I would suggest, if you are indeed trying to become a "l337 h@x0r," that you post on forums of the people that hack games, rather than make them. I could explain why in full detail, but I think the logic is obvious.

I'm not sure if I am allowed to post links to said forums, but a quick google query should get you to one of them. There are communitys of hackers (or 'crackers') just as helpful as the people here, the only difference is that they know much more about cracking/hacking than (i am assuming) most of the people here.

Ehm... BTW - I in now way condone or support the black arts of programming (teh hax).

[edited by - taciturn on September 14, 2002 1:16:14 AM]

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OK, I found a certain tutorial telling how to write a trainer for a certain game, and it appears that variables are stored at the same memory address each time the game runs. At least thats the way it appeared in the tutorial.

Do staticly declared variables always exist in the same memory location each time the game is run? If so, it seems like using dynamic variables for important stuff would add a few minutes of trouble to the hacker''s day.

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I''m not sure, but due to Windows'' virtual memory, I guess, it''s pretty easy to predict where stuff like globals are going to be. If I''m not mistaking, the program itself is always at 0x40000000 or similar. When you allocate memory I think it also will be on the same addresses, if you allocate in same order and of same size. It would be easy to make sure they can''t predict where your variables are going to be, but if you put a pointer to them in a global, they are going to be just as easy to find.

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