a tough assembly software protection
by +Aesculapius
25 February 1998


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Courtesy of fravia's pages of reverse engineering

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Download +Aesculapius' baby redhere

+Aesculapius (a mighty reverser wizard and +HCU teacher, responsible for the 1998 strainer) has prepared an apparently simple crack-me that will show you what could be a tough protection scheme... if protectors knew how to program in assembly, that is :-)
Dear fellow crackers, 
I haven't had time to participate in the redOur protections  
section until now. Here I send my contribution to this wonderful
area. I've gathered ideas from every one, considering MadMax!'s opinions
specially in regard to the use of high level languages to hide the 
protection scheme deep into thousands of calls. This crack_me file,
has been coded totally in assembly. I tried to avoid any discouraging
characteristic as: long coding, hidden sentences, packers, anti-debugging
techniques, etc. The protection has been developed using my hands, brain
and assembly. Considering this, you could ask: where's the catch? There
isn't, the whole program was configured in two hours, which means, if we 
add this fact to the assembly-made one, this baby should be an easy pray
to any cracker. Unfortunately that's not true. 
Assembly is the mightyest of all programming languages, which means that 
there are no rules to code with it because it is assembly itself that 
sets the rules. 

	I'm not trying to probe anything, the scheme is not meant to be
uncrackable. I don't want to demonstarte that I'm a good protectionist. 
The objective of this file, is to share with you some ideas which I'm sure
will be used in the future to protect shareware programs. You are all
too good to find something really uncrackable and I don't want to kill 
you off or bore you to death with a big scheme in order to hyde the needle 
inside the hay.

	The only rule is this, given the fact, the protection seems
to be so weak in regard to the language used, and the lack
of ready-to-use commercial tricks, i will only accept
as valid answer an automatic (patch) crack susceptible of being
distributed to others, and I mean to lusers that don't have any 
knowledge whatsoever about cracking. Since it is OUR protection, we 
don't have any ethical problem, for once, with creating automatic 
patches.

	Go ahead, enjoy!

+Aesculapius 


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