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Reverse engineering: Anti-cracking Techniques

How to protect your code in 24 pages

(by, g.charalambous)

Reverse engineering: Anti-cracking Techniques
N.George, G.Charalambous

This article is online from 3847 days and has been seen 12884 times

(*** download for full text***)

Reverse Engineering: Anti-Cracking Techniques

Table of Contents
... 3 Introduction
... 3 TODO
... 3 Reverse Engineering Tools
... 4 Reverse Engineering Approaches
... 4 Example Software
... 4 Program Analysis
... 5 Approach No1 (String References)
... 7 Suggestions (Approach No1)
... 8 Approach No2 (Breakpoint on windows API)
... 9 Suggestions (Approach No2)
... 10 Approach No3 (Stack Tracing)
... 12 Suggestions (Approach No3)
... 13 Binary Code Patching
... 20 Approach No1 (Branch Patching)
... 21 Approach No2 (Replace functions)
... 22 Serial Generating
... 22 Code Reconstructing
... 23 Code Ripping
... 24 Other

This paper is a guide into better understanding most of the approaches a reverse engineer can follow in order to achieve his goal. Additionally, it includes a number of advices on how to better protect your software against tracing its sensitive information, like serial key checks and authentication procedures. This paper is not about changing anyone’s ideals; this paper is about people that believe that reverse engineering can create a safer world. So if you are not one of those individuals then stop reading, for this is not for you.
Note that this paper might not cover the wide range of techniques used by reverse engineers so if you feel that something is missing, please do not hesitate to email with your suggestions.

Any other suggestions are welcome. If you feel that you have something to contribute and/or offer, do not hesitate to email.
Reverse Engineering Tools
A number of reverse engineering tools are available over the net, a number of them are free and others need purchasing. Some of the most advanced disassembling and debugging tools out there are:
OllyDBG [] (Version 2 expected soon)
IDA Pro Disassembler and Debugger []
W32Dasm [] (Old, but you will be amazed with some of its functions)
SoftICE (Stopped being supported from April 2006)
WinDbg []
Additionally, a number of other tools can be used as well. The names of the tools and their description are listed below:
Used for scanning windows system executables for known packer/encryprtor signatures and identifying the compiler of the program []
Import REConstructor []
Used for repairing damaged import table (IAT) of executables
System Internals []
Programs like FileMon, RegMon can be used to monitor the program’s behavior. An alternative approach to this is a sandbox that provides information for all program activities.

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