You’ve slaved away for years on that Windows application. Your livelihood or your company’s survival depends upon it. And what happens? Someone cracks it and posts the unprotected version on the Internet. Arrgghh. OK, you can’t prevent that forever -- but you can hold off the crackers a good long time with the ideas in Crackproof Your Software.
Software developers are at a huge disadvantage against crackers, because few programmers really understand software protection. Finally, there's a systematic guide to making life harder for the crackers -- without making it any harder than necessary for legitimate users.
Crackproof Your Software begins by walking through each basic type of software protection and its vulnerabilities -- including registration number protection, time limitations, registration key file protection, dongles, and a host of CD protection techniques. Next, software expert Pavol Cerven moves to program compression and encoding, assessing more than a dozen available options (his favorite is PE-SHiELD; several don’t impress him at all). There’s also a full chapter on InstallShield and other commercial software protection programs.
Of course, it’s only a matter of time before new countermeasures show up on the Internet. You really need to prevent debugging if you can. Cerven turns to this next, offering detailed techniques for preventing crackers from using breakpoints, tracers, and debuggers against you -- especially the popular SoftICE and TRW tools. He concludes with a basketful of additional protection tricks, from API hook detection to anti-disassembling macros. Whether you’re writing games or expensive vertical market applications, this is stuff you unfortunately need to know. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.