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About mikro_sk

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  1. Is software piracy a problem for you?

    That's very interesting point with the legal implications, ATC. We'll keep that in mind. And of course, you're cordially welcome to use our technology even in the future!
  2. Is software piracy a problem for you?

    Hi ATC, [quote name='ATC' timestamp='1350158403' post='4989875'] Your system sounds pretty good. I can give it my blessings insofar as what I've heard you say about it. But don't think all (or any part of) it is "uncrackable". You might have made it hard enough that I don't [i]feel like[/i] trying, but [i]anything[/i] is breakable. When you engineer the "unbreakable" lock I will just get a screwdriver and take the door off the hinges... the mighty lock falling at my feet as I enter the bank vault. That's how hacking is done and how crackers think. :-)[/quote] That's the reason why I'm saying: [i]A: First, we do not claim it's unbreakable. We are only saying we can hold your game long enough on the game market to make some money back.[/i] In other words: you'll crack us, we work on it with that in mind, but it will take you a time. [quote]However, I still take issue with the claim that this will "increase revenues"... I say again that people who refuse to pay for your software are [i][b]not[/b] [/i]going to pay for your software.[/quote] You know, I'm not a marketing advisor. Nor a sales person. We just offer a technology which shoots down the 95% piracy rate. If it helps your business or not, we can't tell, you know who your customer are. The decision is up to you, of course. [quote]wait until someone else figures out how to do; which usually doesn't take very long. The only way you're going to increase revenues is by writing [i]excellent[/i] games and software. That's what compels people to buy; not DRM or security.[/quote] I agree that the only way you're going to increase revenues is by writing excellent games and software but imagine these [i]excellent games and software[/i] get cracked the day they are released. [quote]"Anti-cracking" measures and security should be about keeping things fair. It's not fair to paying customers if everyone and his uncle gets to play for free. And that's really, imho, the only reason to have any DRM/security measures in your game. The way to discourage people from cracking your software is by pricing it fairly, offering good customer service, treating your customers with respect and making your games accessible to the public.[/quote] Sure, in an ideal world. I don't know if you're a game developer or not but don't you feel pissed off if you are working on a game/app for months, eating just fast food all the time to save money, then offer your product for $2 with cool support and features and some asshole makes a crack and spread it for free? Are you really satisfied only with the feeling that people use it? For big companies it is the same -- they have 200+ people working on a title, put 3 years of development into it and the next day after release a crack is out there, making their work worthless. [quote]P.S. -- Your security scheme sounds [i]very[/i] familiar. It sounds a lot like the security system built into GROME (my favorite terrain/world editing tool) from Quad Software. I notice your company is called "Quadisys" which sounds similar to "Quad"... Are you guys an offshoot of Quad or related in any way? If so, please send Adrian my regards. He has helped me greatly over the years! ;-)[/quote] Wow, this must be a huge coincidence, but we'll write them for sure! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] [b]I only repeat our offer here: if you think a good anti-piracy solution with as little hassle as possible can help you boost your sales, give us a call. If not, well... we can't really force you to change your mind, it's up to you. We offer it 100% for free, servers are paid by us, customers support ditto. We really need a 'real' customer to break into the game world.[/b]
  3. Is software piracy a problem for you?

    Very good questions! [quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1350155123' post='4989861'] If only the crypto points are scrambled: Couldn't a group of crackers each pool their executables, and then compare the executables to find the crypto points which could then be removed?[/quote] Yes and no. They could do that (and they will do, I'm sure) but they soon realize the points are not same even for the same binary. I.e. not only the location (position) in the code but also the type / used instructions differ. And remember, they don't have the clean (unprotected) copy to compare to. It's very similar to having one message ciphered with two different keys. Can you tell from the differences what was the original? Even if it's only partially ciphered? [quote]If the entire binary is scrambled: Wouldn't this effect the performance of carefully balanced tight inner loops? Is there a way to specify, for performance-sensitive areas of code, not to scramble that portion?[/quote] Yes it would and that's the reason why our tool makes possible to mark parts of the code (either by absolute offset ranges or by function names). So yes, there is a way. [quote]Does your method require an internet connection for ever playing session, or just for install/activation? If only for activation, how do you detect concurrent users?[/quote] Just for installation/activation. I should've phrased it more carefully: we know how many users already activated it, for what hardware and with what serial number so publisher can see how many copies are 'around'.
  4. Is software piracy a problem for you?

    OK guys, you want technical details, here they are. First I want to say that I 100% agree with ATC and his analysis of typical solutions as well as with samoth about RSA/AES. Because ... that's the point exactly! Let me explain. Typical protection is exactly as ATC says... it's just kind of wrapper. You remove the wrapper, you've got a clean, spreadable copy which can be used by anyone. So what are current 'protectors' trying to achieve is to hide this check, this comparison, to obfuscate it as someone has mentioned. But as soon as you find it (it can take hours, weeks, even months, take a look at Starforce for example -- 424 days), the product is finished and in mercy of legal (voluntary) buyers. Apropo Starforce... there's then another element and that's the way how the protection abuses your system... you can read it on wikipedia, what exactly it does, don't know about you but for me it was really scary reading. These were the starting points for us, the things we wanted to avoid. So... what we have come with? 0. Publisher uploads (clean, unprotected) files he wishes to protect (it might be one .dll, it might be two .exe's + 10 .dlls ...) to our server - this is of course secure, agreement-based operation, nothing for public 1. Every publisher gets a loader which he executes as the last step in his installation process - this loader does a hardware check of your computer (looking for unique elements -- serial numbers, IDs, names, ...) - it sends this information, along with the entered serial key to our server - as you can see, nothing confident is sent (you can mangle the hw info but then you'll receive a file for another computer [i]registered on your serial key[/i]) - our response will be a file (files) tight to your computer hardware, i.e. it will run on your computer but not on your friend's one - again, as you see, nothing hackable in this process 2. Customer runs this executable(s), if hardware matches, ok, if not, an error appears This is how it works from user point of view. Now typical Q&A: Q: what if I change my HW? A: you, as publisher, can choose what hardware you expect / allow your customers to change. Plus, how many reactivations do you allow. So in practice: I think my customers are gamers, so I allow them to change video card (video card wont be included in that hardware collect operation) plus since they are crazy upgraders so I allow them to change hdd/mother board/etc three times. That also implies, that you can give your serial number to your 3 friends (or family members or computers in your weekend house), if you are sure you'll never change your hardware, yes, it's ok, I as publisher agree with it. (it's up to me to change these numbers). Plus bear in mind the number of concurrent users are always in full control of the publisher -- thanks to the serial key + activation + database on our server. Q: For every (re)activation I need an internet connection? A: Yes, you do. You can alternatively sign up in an internet cafe or at your friend's place and download the file there (we'll provide web activation, too -- you bring your hw info file on an usb stick and we'll give you the protected files for your computer) Q: What about updates? A: You can upload the update in the same way as in the step 0, i.e. the next time user runs the activation process, new files will be downloaded. No trouble at all. Q: OK, so how come it's uncrackable? A: First, we do not claim it's unbreakable. We are only saying we can hold your game long enough on the game market to make some money back. We can debate how effective it is but bear in mind -- if today only 1 player of 20 pays for the product, improvement to 2 of 20 means double revenue! Q: Cool cool, so how does it work then? A: As I said, it's similar to cryptography. We inject your executable(s) on random places with thousands of 'crypto points'. There's huge technological background (ring0 stuff, drivers, protected memory etc) but in the nutshell it just asks about your HDD s/n, combines it with some data in the executable and generate some new code on some random place. This 'crypto points' are indistinguishable from regular code so the only way how to recognize them is to debug the app, check the result in memory, store it, patch it and.. move to another one. In a way it's similar to a series of ciphered blocks -- you can eventually crack them with brute force and combine into one but it takes time. Q: TL;DR. What's the point? A: The point is that if there's 6000 of these 'crypto points', you have to remove one after each another, you can't automatize it and you can't apply knowledge of one cracked product to another (because each copy is unique, each product has different code, i.e. this 'instruction mixing' happens always differently). So eventually, every game gets cracked but it will happen only after huge dedication from cracker's side and after the main sales are done (typical AAA game makes money in the first 3 weeks) I'm sorry for such a long post I just want to be sure you'll get the idea. Feel free to ask, if you haven't understood something.
  5. Hello everyone, I work for a company called Quadisys, we're a startup. What we have basically is a new kind of copy protection technology. I read a blog where an indie developer claims that 95% of copies of his game were stolen/pirated! I guess we can help you with that. You'll get better revenues. We will be happy to help you and to spread our technology. Now you probably ask how come we have something different, there's been tens of companies which claimed the same, right? I'm not sure if it makes sense to post all technical details on how it works, so only briefly. Basic features: - Windows only, both 32-bit and 64-bit - no java, .net, flash, web stuff - one time internet activation (user enters a serial number, receives protected file(s) from our server) - we don't need your source code, only the final build (exe, dll, ...) - if somebody breaks the protection, all the other (present and future) products wont get automatically crackable! It's something as AES/RSA and similar stuff -- if you break one password with brute force, it doesn't mean you can read everyone's emails - one dialog on your side, server running on our side (scalable, ready for thousands of activations per minute) In case of questions / interest you can write me at miroslav.kropacek@quadisys.com or post your questions here.