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FGFS

DRM protection

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Hi

I wonder how to drm protect my stuff better than I do currently. Currently I check at every start for a key and compare it online. I would prefer

to check it not so often or only once. The problem is how to know when my stuff get's copied to another location. (Win/mac/linux) etc. and start a

now online comparison.

Thanks for any ideas

 

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Either move part of or all of your game to servers you control, or replace your code checking with a dialog box that politely asks the player whether the game was obtained in a moral way or not.

[exeggaration] Anything else is a waste of your time because your game will be cracked by evil pirates in 3 minutes. [/exeggaration]

 

edit: added tone markup :3

Edited by Waterlimon

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While I agree with others that every DRM will be cracked, etc. I don't think that's gonna convince OP to just abandon the idea.

Since what you asked is how to detect moved software, I'd suggest keeping some machine identifier (maybe MachineGuid or just user login) and maybe displaying user's surname on the splash screen or sth. Some people will be uncomfortable running software with different person's name.

And yeah, I know all those things are trivial to bypass, but that's not the point. The OP already has some form of registration and now the point is just to remind an honest user that he needs to register each new machine.

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Anything else is a waste of your time because your game will be cracked by evil pirates in 3 minutes.

Yes, not biased at all.

I have to wonder why people that think they are on some moral high ground always seem to be the ones that make comments just destined to start drama.

Fun fact: you don't have to be a pirate to think DRM is a really dumb and awful software practice. Edited by Satharis

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Currently I check at every start for a key and compare it online. I would prefer
to check it not so often or only once. The problem is how to know when my stuff get's copied to another location. (Win/mac/linux) etc. and start a
now online comparison.

 

i'm a little confused. what does comparing the key online accomplish, other than adding internet connection as a system requirement?  as you can see, it does nothing to prevent illegal copying. or anything else that i can see - except maybe prevent running a legit copy when the internet is down. 

 

NEVER NEVER NEVER deny legit access!   this is _VITAL_ in _ANY_ DRM solution. better to allow access when unsure, than possibly deny paying customers.

 

to know if its been copied, the software will need a systemID or authentication certificate. there may be other methods as well.

 

systemID:

a systemID number is generated using hardware specs on the PC (serial numbers, types of processors and drives, etc).   this systemID is then used to generate a matching registration key.  so a reg key is only good with a given system ID, and a systemID is based on the hardware installed. this makes the reg key hardware dependent.  if they move to another pc , the hardware changes, the systemID changes, and the registration key no longer works.  the downside of this approach is what if they change their hardware? this is typically handled by allowing a couple new reg numbers per user when they upgrade. another approach is to simply licence the software for single user use and installation on a single mass storage device. 

 

authentication certificate:

when the software is installed, a hidden authentication certificate is installed. this certificate identifies the PC as legit. a user copying the software can't copy the certificate as long as it remains hidden. downsides:  1: the certificate must remain hidden.   2: this probably requires install via web, so the user doesn't have a certificate on a master disk or in a master install exe.  

 

 

note that copy protection is only half the battle. the other half is anti-crack protection for your copy protection.

 

in general, research on client server authentication and security procedures should help.   your situation is more of a network AUTH issue than it is a pure DRM issue on a stand-alone pc.

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Hmm, funny while coding this I've never thought my security through. So wireshark found that remote file on my site. Now another question: Would it be possible to fake that TCP GET request? Get that file locally and tell the myapp to use that instead? If so, I would better drop my DRM before it gets hacked...

 

I'll forget about not checking at every start...seems to complicated and I won't spend any more time on this.

Edited by FGFS

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