[futurebasic] Re: Software Theft

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Home   : December 1997 : Group Archive : Group : All Groups

From: LackeR <lacker@...>
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 05:35:22 -0800
Something Staz Software might want to consider also is to make FBIII
more resistant to cracking.  (with macsbug)  I stumbled upon a mac warez
site not long ago while surfing for emulator games.  This amazed me, as
I looked through the site, I found a "text file" section which contained
a tutorial on cracking applications with macsbug and resedit with the
code extention (I suppose he's talking about superresedit).  This is
infuriating to me as a programmer, but there isn't a whole lot you can
do, I read the file completley, and it's a scary thing.  It gives
detailed instructions on how to completley bypass all "registration
codes" or other safeguards, such as inserting a CD.  The worst part
about it is the person who wrote the file explains it so clearly that
even somone who had never used a debugger before could do it.  To make
matters worse the file was being distributed freely to anyone who wanted
it.  It is obvious that no one can stop this sort of thing but surely if
you created a program that was extremly hard to "crack", you could
discourage most of the less experienced people.  I have the file and I
will post it below, I hope this helps all of you at least a little bit,
by reading this I found that an easy way to fool most crackers is to
make alot of "branches" in the place that checks to see that a
registration number is valid, probably "IF" or "LONG IF" statements:


Yes, that's right!  It's... The Kool Krack Tootoriul

by smeger

version 1.1 November 9, 1996

but wait, now how much would you pay?

operators are standing by

(best results will come from viewing this file in BBEdit with Monaco

    **Who's It For?**

This tutorial is for people who have no idea how to crack programs and
have no idea how to program anything.  It contains a description of the
assembly language commands usually used to crack, a description of the
software tools used to crack, and an illustration of the technique of
cracking.  The illustrative technique gives an example of cracking a
program that displays an annoying "Register Me" message and requests a
registration code.  However, the information given should be extensible
to any cracking situation.  This tutorial should give a novice enough
information to crack a program of average difficulty.

Within this tutorial, my definition of kracking is "changing the
executable code of a program in order to change the behavior of the

The examples given in this tutorial are aimed at cracking application
programs, but with the information given, it should be extendable to
cracking any sort of computer software (i.e. startup extensions, control
panels, etc.).

    **What Do You Need?**

'Kay, you need some "can't live without" tools to crack any program.
You'll need MacsBug, ResEdit, and (optionally, but recommended) the Code
Editor for ResEdit.  All of these can be found on the net; the Code
Editor may be kinda tough to find, and some versions of SuperResEdit
have it built in.  The documentation that comes with all of these tells
you how to install 'em.

Oh, and if you're like me, you'll also need a pencil and *lots* of

MacsBug is a dissambler that lets you stop program execution at any
time, at particular times, change anything in RAM, manipulate your
computer's registers, alter program execution, cook toast, and lots of
other good stuff.  Much, much more on it later.

ResEdit is a resource editor.  On the Smacintosh, files have two
'forks,' a data fork (for data) and a resource fork (for resources,
duh).  The data fork contains whatever the guy that wrote the program
wants, while the resource fork contains 'chunks' of behaviors, styles,
icons, cursors, fonts, or whatever.  With ResEdit, you can easily change
icons, fonts, cursors, the appearance of dialog windows, the appearance
of alerts, patterns, or *EVEN* the code itself (Note:  not on PowerSmac
native apps).

Resources are specified by both a four character 'type' and a numerical
ID.  For example, the first code segment an application ever loads is
specified by CODE ID 0.  Here are some common types of resources: CODE
executable code for applications cdev executable code for control panels
INIT executable code for extensions that run at startup CDEF executable
code that defines how a control (button, scroll bar, etc) behaves LDEF
executable code that defines how a graphical list of some sort behaves
MDEF executable code that defines how a menu behaves. WDEF executable
code that defines how a window behaves crsr a color cursor CURS a black
& white cursor cicn a color icon ICON a black and white icon icl4 a 4
bit/pixel large color icon icl8 an 8 bit/pixel large color icon ICN# a
black & white large color icon ics4 a 4 bit/pixel small color icon ics8
an 8 bit/pixel small color icon ics# a black & white small icon ppat a
color pattern ppt# a collection of color patterns PAT# a collection of
black & white patterns sicn a very small black & white icon snd  a sound
STR  a string (collection of letters or numbers - a sentence) STR# a
collection of strings ALRT a description of an alert window's placement
& contents DLOG a description of a dialog window's placement & contents
MENU a description of a menu's contents WIND a description of a window's

This list is by no means comprehensive.  Also, anything can be found in
any kind of resource, if the guy that wrote the program is weird.

ResEdit allows you to edit any resource.  When you open a file with
ResEdit, you see a window containing a bunch of resource types.  Double
clicking on a resource type will show you another window containing all
the resource IDs of that type.  Double clicking an ID will allow you to
edit the resource with the selected type and ID.  The editor window is
different for different resource types.  For example, when editing
icons, cursors, or patterns, the window shows the resource graphically
and contains rudimentary graphical editing/manipulation tools.  When
editing executable code, the window shows the hexadecimal version and
the ascii version of the resource.  When editing window descriptions,
the editor shows a graphical version of the window.  When ResEdit does
not recognize the resource type, it reverts to the default hex/ascii
view used by executable code resources.

Raw hex/ascii is not incredible useful unless you are a computer.  A
much nicer way of looking at executable code is in assembly language.
The CodeEditor extension allows you to view resources in assembly within
ResEdit.  Whenever you edit a CODE, cdev, INIT, CDEF, MDEF or WDEF
resource, instead of giving you raw hex and ascii, it dissassembles into
assembly, lets you search for references to code snippits; basically,
it's really cool.

If you have the CodeEditor extension, you can add additional resource
types that it will edit.  From ResEdit, open your ResEdit Preferences
file (found in SystemFolder:Preferences) and add RMAP resources.  If
you've already installed CodeEditor, you can just check out any of the
resources it edits (except CODE) to see how it's done.

    **Programming Languages You'll Be Working With,
      and Ones You Won't** (nice titles, huh...)

There are a few different types of language that you'll be dealing with
here. There is assembly, which is a mnemonic language in which every
instruction directly corresponds to something that your computer will
do.  There is machine language, which is the numerical equivalent of
assembly language, and there are high level languages, which you won't
have to deal with unless you're lucky enough to have the source code of
the software you want to crack.  Assembly language looks something like:


Machine language (for the same instruction) looks like:


High level (for a different set of instructions) looks like:

if ((iAmKool && uAreNot) || (!iAmKool && uMightBe)) SomeonesKool();

    **The Toolbox Traps & MacsBug**

All right, all I'm gonna cover is cracking programs that disable stuff
or nag 'til you type in a registration code.  Figuring out how to
generate serial numbers is a lot tougher, 'cause you need a detailed
knowledge of assembly.

Usually, you use the Macintosh Toolbox Traps to find out what's going
on.  The Toolbox is a set of routines that Smac programmers can use to
simplify common tasks, making writing code really simple 'cause you
don't have to do anything.

A trap is a system routine that performs some sort of action, such as
drawing a menu bar or a window.  Traps are stored within a program as a
single instruction.  When the trap is called, the program will perform
the trap, then continue execution normally.

I'm going to cover the basic traps, but if you need a complete reference
to all 5000+, you could check Apple's web site, follow the links to
Developer pages, and get all the Inside Smacintosh books.  You'll pretty
much have to devote a hard drive to storing 'em on, but for basic
cracking, you don't need 'em.

Here are some example program situations and the traps associated with
them.  These are *not* all associated with the nagging registration
program.  If the program puts up a window in which you have to click ok
or cancel or whatever before you can do anything else, the odds are good
that the trap used to create the window is GetNewDialog.  The software
will probably use the ModalDialog trap to automate handling events like
mouse clicks and key hits.  If the program is trying to get keystrokes
at a weird time (like at system startup), it may use GetKeys.  Close to
the beginning of most application programs, the InitGraf trap will be
called (this initializes some drawing variables).  If the program puts
up a window to tell you something while some other program is in the
foreground (this is called a notification), it probably uses NMInstall.
Programs have a main event loop that processes all the mouse clicks, key
strokes, etc.  This loop will usually call WaitNextEvent, or, if it was
written in 1910 (B.C.!), it may use GetNextEvent.  To handle a menu
selection, it will probably use MenuSelect.

'Kay, enough of this.  If I haven't covered it, check Inside
Smacintosh.  Your trap will probably be in either Essential Toolbox or
More Essential Toolbox. Check the chapter that seems relevant.

Allrighty, for our purposes we're going to assume that you want to crack
a registration code, and the program puts up a window with Name,
Organization, and Serial Number text boxes, has an Okay Button, and a
Cancel button.  Here's the basic strategy.  You want to check out the
code after you've filled in the three text fields and hit enter.  You
want to find where it determines whether your entry is valid, and make
the program think that any entry is a valid one.

Now, you need to know a bit about MacsBug.  MacsBug is a debugger for
the Smacintosh; it allows you to examine code, memory, and even change
things.  Smac User Warning:  MacsBug is *not* a pretty program.  It
takes over the entire screen.  The majority of the screen displays
whatever you tell it to (the main display area).  At the bottom of the
screen, it shows the next three assembly language instructions to be
executed.  At the very bottom of the screen is one line (the command
line) where you can type commands.  On the left side of the screen it
displays (from top to bottom) the contents of your computer's stack, the
name of the current running process, some environmental information, the
state of the status register, the state of the eight data registers, and
the state of the eight address registers.

You can do some pretty cool stuff with MacsBug, and if I don't cover it
here, try typing ? on the command line for very good on-line help.  The
most important thing you can do is set a break point so that the program
you are running will pause and you will drop into MacsBug on whatever
toolbox trap you specify. This is an A-Trap Break.  It uses the command
atb <the trap name>.  So, if you wanted to halt execution everytime the
ModalDialog trap was found, you would use "atb modaldialog" (MacsBug is
generally not case sensitive).  You can clear an individual a-trap break
using atc (a-trap clear).  You can either use atc <the trap name> for an
individual trap or atc to clear 'em all.  By the way, using atb without
a trap name will break on all traps, which I don't recommend unless you
are clinically insane or chronically patient.

Anyway, at the bottom of the MacsBug screen, you will see a listing of
(usually) 3 instructions.  The current instruction is at the top,
followed by the next two.  The offset from the beginning of the
procedure or resource in which the instruction resides is at the left,
followed by the address in memory of the instruction, followed by the
instructions mnemonic (the assembly language version), followed by the
instructions arguments if any.  On the right is the machine language
version of the instruction.  The machine language is in hexadecimal, and
is what you would see if you opened a CODE resource in ResEdit without
the CodeEditor.  At the top of this listing is the name of the resource
in which the code lives, or the name of the procedure.  Finally, there
may be more info following a semicolon. For example, if I go into
MacsBug now, I get this listing at the bottom of the screen:

_SetResFileAttrs          ; Will Loop
+006E2 4081B6DA *BEQ D5,_SetResFileAttrs+006DE ; 4081B6D6 |57CD FFFA
+00636 4081B6DE  BEQ.S _SetResFileAttrs+006FE  ; 4081B6F6 |6716
+006E8 4081B6E0  BRA.S _SetResFileAttrs+00704  ; 4081B6FC |601A

The name of the procedure (in this case, it's a toolbox trap) is
SetResFileAttrs.  The +006e2 is the offset from the beginning of the
procedure. This instruction is 6E2 hexadicimal bytes from the beginning
of the SetResFileAttrs trap.  The 4081b6da is the actual address in
memory of this instruction.  DBEQ is the mnemonic of the instruction.
D5,__SetResFileAttrs+006de is the instruction parameters.  This
instruction is used for looping.  ;4081b6d6 tells what address it will
go to if it loops.  57cd fffa is the machine language version of the
instruction.  The * in front of the mnemonic shows that it will be the
next instruction to be executed.  The Will Loop on the top line
indicates that the instruction is going to loop.  All instructions that
conditionally jump elsewhere in memory will have something like this.

The next instruction shown is 636 hexadicimal bytes from the beginning
of the SetResFileAttrs trap.  It is located at address 4081B6DE in
memory.  It's mnemonic is BEQ.S.  The paramters are
_SetResFileAttrs+006FE.  This instruction is a "Branch if Equal" (more
later).  If it branches, it will branch to 4081B6F6.  It's machine
language equivalent is 6716.

    **Aside - Ya Gotta Know Some Assembly Language**

Using MacsBug is sort of pointless without at least a meager knowledge
of assembly language.  So, following are some of the assembly language
commands important to cracking and finding your way around a program.

**Bcc Instruction**
Programs utilize conditional branches.  This can be illustrative in a
high level way by something like "if this is true go here, otherwise go
over here."  In assembly language, this is done with the mnemonic Bcc,
where cc specifies what condition the statement will test.  Some
examples are BEQ (Branch if Equal), BNE (Branch if Not Equal), BGE
(Branch if Greater than or Equal), BLE (Branch if Less than or Equal),
BGT (Branch if Greater Than), and BLT (Branch if Less Than).  There are
a few more, but they aren't common.  If a branch statement's condition
is satisfied, the next instruction to be executed will be the
instruction located at the address specified by this branch
instruction's parameters, instead of being the next instruction in

The various branch instructions test bits in the Status Register (SR -
found in the middle of the left side of MacsBug).  The bits tested
depend on the branch instruction used.  These bits are set by the
instructions proceeding the branch instruction (more later).  The state
of the bits themselves is generally not relevant to kracking stuff.

A conditional branch's mnemonic will always begin with a B and the
machine language equivalent will always begin with a 6.

You will probably want to change branch behavior.  If a branch is going
to branch, you may want to see what happens if it doesn't.  Often, this
is all it takes to crack a program; *finding the right branch is the
tough part*.  If this is the current line in MacsBug:

_DeQueue          ; Will Not Branch
+000A8 408099fE   *BNE.S _DeQueue+000CA  ; 40809A20   |6620
blah 40809A00 blah blah    ; blahhhh   |uggg

The next instruction to be executed is A8 hexadicimal byes from the
beginning of the DeQueue trap.  It is located at address 408099FE in
memory.  It's mnemonic is BNE.S.  It's parameters are _DeQueue+000CA.
This instruction will "Branch if Not Equal".  If it branches, it will
branch to address 40809A20.  It's machine language equivalent is 6620.

In this example, the instruction is not going to branch.  If you want to
see what happens if it branches, type "pc=40809a20".  The pc is a
special address register that contains the address of the next
instruction to be executed.  This command changes the pc to the address
that it would be if the instruction had branched (40809A20).  If this
instruction *was* going to branch and you wanted to see what would
happen if it didn't, you could use either "pc=40809a00" or "pc=pc+2".
It's "pc=pc+2" because the given BNE instruction takes two bytes in
memory.  This can be seen by looking at the machine language instruction
6620. A byte is two hexadecimal digits, so 66 20 is two bytes.  If the
machine language had been 6600 ff9a, you would use pc=pc+4.

The various branch instructions are the 'big boys' of program cracking.
If a program does something you don't like, like displaying a "Register
Me, Fucker!" screen or pausing before quitting, changing how a branch
executes will almost always override the offending behavior.  Again,

**CMP Instruction**
There is also a compare instruction.  It's mnemonic is CMP.  It will
(suprise!) compare two values and set the status register's (SR) bits
according to the result of the comparison. It is used to set stuff up
for a conditional branch statement.  It's form is cmp.b, cmp.w, or
cmp.l, plus two parameters.  The .b, .w, or .l corresponds to compare a
byte, a word, or a long.  A byte is two hexadecimal digits, a word is
four, and a long is eight.  The two parameters are the things to be
compared.  These can be numbers, addresses, the contents of addresses in
memory, or a whole ton of other things.  The compare instruction will
almost always be followed by a conditional branch of the form Bcc (you
just read about 'em unless you're skipping around like a moron).

**TST Instruction**
There is a similar assembly language instruction that compares a
paramter to zero.  This is the TST (TeST) instruction.  It's form is
TST.B, TST.W, TST.L, plus one parameter. See the compare instruction for
an explanation of the .B, .W, and .L part.  Again, this is almost always
followed by a conditional branch of the form Bcc.

**JSR and BSR Instructions**
Assembly language provides a way for a program to use the same bit of
code in multiple places.  Code can jump to the repeated part, execute
it, and then return.  This is done with the JSR (Jump to SubRoutine)
instruction and the BSR (Branch to SubRoutine) instruction.  For our
purposes, these instructions are the same.  Note that BSR is *not* a
conditional branch.  All of the following info about the JSR instruction
also applies to the BSR instruction.

The JSR instruction will branch to a subroutine, execute the subroutine,
then return to the instruction after the JSR.  It's syntax is JSR
<address of the subroutine>.  If you're lucky, in MacsBug the address
may be replaced by the name of the subroutine, instead of being
something cryptic.  Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen.

**RTS Instruction**
The RTS (ReTurn from Subroutine) will return program execution to the
instruction following the JSR or BSR that called the subroutine in which
the RTS instruction is found.  It takes no parameters, and is always the
last instruction in a subroutine.  Since my symantecs suck, here's a
sort of flowchartie type thing on how this works.
 program is executing Routine A
 a JSR or BSR instruction is executed with a parameter of Routine B -
the instruction after this one in memory is Instruction A
 program is now executing Routine B
 an RTS instruction is found
 program execution continues in Routine A at Instruction A

**MOVE Instruction**
The MOVE instruction moves something from one address in memory to
another.  It's form is MOVE.B, MOVE.W, or MOVE.L, plus two parameters.
This instruction is commonly used to make a copy of something, or to pop
stuff onto or off of the stack before or after calling a subroutine.
Most subroutines need some sort of data to work with, so the routine
calling it needs to be able to communicate this data to the subroutine.
It can do this by pushing stuff onto a stack, where a stack is
essentially just what it sounds like.  The stack can be viewed at the
top left of the MacsBug screen.  The address register A7 always points
to the bottom of the stack.  The weird thing about this stack is that
you don't push things onto the top of it.  The top is fixed, and things
are pushed onto the bottom.  So, the stack grows downwards.  Often,
subroutines return some sort of data on the stack.  After the subroutine
has executed, this data can then be popped off of the stack for use by
the calling routine.  Here's an example of an assembly language program
passing three parameters (Parm1 - longword, Parm2 - word, and Parm3 -
byte) to a subroutine called IAmASubroutine, then copying the result
(which is a byte) into a variable called Result.  This is meant to be
illustrative; in MacsBug, you won't see names like these, only weird
looking stuff.

 move.l Parm1, -(A7)
 move.w Parm2, -(A7)
 move.b Parm3, -(A7)
 jsr  IAmASubroutine
 move.b (A7)+, Result

All you really need to know is that -(A7) pops something onto the stack,
while (A7)+ pulls something back off.

As an aside, if the second parameter of the MOVE instruction is a data
register, the move instruction will also set the Status Register's (SR)
bits so that a compare instruction is not necessary.

A common use of this in the Registration Code Example is passing the
serial number you had typed to a subroutine that checks it.  The
subroutine then returns a "yes or no" byte.  This is then checked.
Here's what this would look like:

 move.l <Address holding your registration code>, -(A7)
 move.l <some other type of info to check it against>, -(A7)
 jsr  CheckItOut
 move.b (A7)+, D0
 bne  ItsGood
 ItsNotGood here

This pops my registration code onto the stack, pops something else onto
the stack, calls the CheckItOut subroutine, moves the result into data
register 0, then branches only if the result is not zero.

**NOP Instruction**
If you want an instruction that doesn't do anything except waste space
(and you actually may), you can use the NOP (No OPeration) instruction.

    **More On Using MacsBug**

**The 's' and the 'so' MacsBug Commands**
Often, a registration routine will call the ModalDialog trap to find out
what the user's doing.  When the user hits ok, it will call a subroutine
to determine whether the code is valid, and the subroutine will return a
"yes or no" value. In MacsBug, you can step through instructions to see
what's going on.  You have two choices.  You can either step through
every instruction, which will be really tedious unless you are pretty
close to what you're looking for, or you can step through only the
instructions in the current routine, stepping over toolbox traps and
subroutines.  This is good for getting a general understanding of what
the program is doing.  To step through individual instructions, use the
's' (step) command.  To step over subroutines and traps, use the 'so'
(step over) command.  Hitting return will repeat the last command
executed, so you don't have to type 'so' over and over.  You can also
hit escape to see the Smac screen; hit escape again to get back to
MacsBug.  After a JSR has been executed, the subroutine will return to
the original routine with an rts instruction (return from subroutine).

When using the 's' command, MacsBug will execute the current instruction
and allow the user to interact with MacsBug immediately afterwards.  If
the current instruction is a JSR or BSR, 's' will execute the JSR or BSR
instruction and then show you the first instruction in the subroutine
called by the JSR or BSR.  This also applies to toolbox traps.  The 's'
command will show the MacsBug user every single instruction the computer
ever executes ('kay, if you're a guru reading this, you don't get to see
interrupts, but who cares?).

When using the 'so' command, MacsBug will execute the current
instruction *and* everything associated with it, then return control to
the user afterwards.  If the current instruction is a JSR or a BSR, 'so'
will execute the JSR or BSR, execute the subroutine called by the JSR or
BSR, execute the RTS at the end of the subroutine, then return control
to the MacsBug user with the current instruction set to the one that
followed the JSR or BSR.  Otherwise, 's' and 'so' are equivalent.

**The 'br' and 'brc' and 'gt' commands**
Lets say you want your program to run until it gets to a certain place
and then drop into MacsBug.  You can set a breakpoint for some address
in memory.  When the program counter (PC) is equal to the address of one
of your breakpoints, you will drop into MacsBug.  This is useful if
you've eliminated some section of your program as being irrelevant to
your crack and you don't want to have to step through it.  To set a
breakpoint, the syntax is br <the address at which to break>.  Keep in
mind that you can use expressions here, like "br pc+4", which will break
at four bytes beyond the current instruction.

When using the 'br' (BReak point) command, execution will *always* stop
when the pc is equal to your breakpoint.  If you want clear a
breakpoint, you can use the 'brc' (BReak point Clear) command.  This can
be brc <the address> to clear a particular breakpoint or just brc to
clear 'em all.

If you want to break at some location only one time, you can use the
'gt' (Go Till) command.  This is exactly equivalent to setting a
breakpoint, running till you get to it, then clearing it.

**The 'g' Command**
Typing 'g' will continue execution normally until a breakpoint is

**Displaying and Setting Memory**
You can look at or set the contents of memory.  To look at 16 bytes of
memory, use dm <the address> (dm stands for display memory).  To look at
only a byte, word, or long, use db, dw, or dl, respectively.  You can
set a byte, word, or long by using sb <the address> <the byte>, sw or
sl, respectively (sb stands for set byte).  This can be used to see
whether the registration code you typed is inside of an address being
manipulated by the program.  It can also be used to change stuff on the

**Other MacsBug Commands**
Finally, you can try to do an emergency exit from the program with es
(Exit to Shell), you can restart the computer with rs (ReStart), or
reboot (with the memory check and all the stuff that makes it take 14
years) with rb (ReBoot). You'll probably crash the computer quite a few
times trying to krack programs, so these commands are good ones to
know.  In fact, even if you don't use MacsBug for anything else, it's
worth having just for these commands.  The 'es' command, for example, is
more robust than doing a force quit from a program with cmd-opt esc, and
using rs is quicker than manually restarting the computer.  These
commands are not strictly relevent to kracking programs, but they're
pretty damn good to know.

**Number Conversion**
MacsBug will translate hex to decimal for you, just type in a
hexadecimal number and you'll get the decimal prefixed with a #.  For
example, if I type 524C (a hex number), I get

524c = $0000524C #21068 #21068 '**RL' (between 20k and 21k)

This tells me that the expression I typed in (524C) is equal to 524C
hex, 21068 unsigned decimal, 21068 signed decimal, '**RL' ascii and is
between 20 and 21K in memory size.  You can also type simple equations
and get the same type of output.

If you want to convert a decimal number to hex, you can type the decimal
number preceeded by a '#'.  For example, typing '#10' will tell me that
10 decimal is equal to 0000000A hex.

    **Doing The Krack**

Allrighty, enough preamble crap.  Here's the basic strategy revisited.
You will fill in the text fields in the registration window with
whatever you want, set an a-trap break for ModalDialog, and step through
the code till you find where it says "yes or no" to the good
registration question.  Here's how I would do this, you can do it
however ya want.

Type everything you want in the text fields except the very last
character you intend to type.

Drop into MacsBug (I use cmd-power key to do this) and type "atb
ModalDialog" to set an a-trap break on the ModalDialog trap.  The next
time ModalDialog is encountered, you will drop into MacsBug. You don't
type all the characters because when you originally drop into MacsBug,
you will almost certainly already be inside the ModalDialog trap, and
you want to be outside of it.

Type 'g' to continue execution normally and type the last character into
the program's text field.  At this point, you should drop into MacsBug,
and the next instruction should be ModalDialog.  If it's not or you
don't drop into MacsBug, you've got to try a different toolbox trap,
maybe DialogSelect.

Type 'so' to step over the modal dialog trap.  This will let you do one
thing (like click the OK button or hit return) and then will drop you
back into MacsBug at the instruction following ModalDialog.

Click the ok button, and you're back in MacsBug.  You'll use 'so' to
step over instructions looking for that "yes or no" check.  You may try
using 'dm' to display the memory that the instructions are dealing
with.  For example, if an instruction uses -$0016(A0), you could try 'dm
a0-16' to see the memory.  If the first eight bytes of the memory
displayed by 'dm' look like an address, you could try doing a 'dm' on
the address in case it uses double indirection.  Somewhere along the
line, you should see whatever you typed in as your serial number.
This'll mean you're on the right track.  You can also look for either
the GetDialogItem or GetDialogItemText toolbox traps.  These get
information from a window (such as the serial number you typed).
Anyway, if you persevere and think about what you're seeing, eventually
you may find something that looks like either the example given in the
explanation of the MOVE instruction, or like the following

Bcc.s <somewhere>

where <somewhere> is the location that will be branched to.  <Somewhere>
will not be surrounded by <>, it may look like 'CODE 0001'+002A.

This is testing a yes or no.  D0 is a data register, it could be D(some
other number).  If it branches (see the branch instruction), try not
branching and then type g to continue normal execution and vice versa.
If you're lucky, you'll get the lovely screen that says "Thanks for
registering."  If you play around for more than 200 hours and haven't
found it, guess you'll have to use a different approach.

Another way to find the all-powerful "yes or no" check is to step over
(so) instructions until you see the "Wrong Code, Bub" message.  Make a
note of the address at which this happened.  Was there a conditional
branch not too long before?  That may be your branch.  If it happens
inside of a subroutine (i.e., the last instruction you stepped over was
JSR or BSR), the check *may* happen inside the subroutine.  However, the
subroutine may just be the DisplayAnnoyingWrongCode subroutine.  You can
'so' until you get to the subroutine, then 's' once to get inside it,
then continue to 'so' till you get the "Hey, Dipshit!  Wrong Code!"
message.  Repeat as necessary, do not stir until boiling.

The "Hey, SuckBag - You're Trying To Krack Me" message will usually be
executed by the Alert toolbox trap.  If you're using the above method
and end up at the Alert trap, you've missed the check.

    **Allrighty, You've Kracked It, Now What?**
    **Changing The Program** (gawd, nice titles, huh...)

**Have I Kracked It?**
If you have found the branch instruction that allows you to get a valid
registration and continued execution results in "Hey, Thanks For
Registering," you have kracked the program.  If MacsBug is listing
offsets next to the conditional branch you found, make a note of the
routine and the offset (see the explanation of the MacsBug display).  If
not, write down as much machine language from that point on as you can
(I usually write down about 20 bytes).  If the program is now kracked,
you can just say to hell with it and leave it at that.  However, if you
want to krack it for someone else, you'll have to actually change the
program's code.

**Finding The Place To Change**
To change code, you'll use ResEdit and the CodeEditor.  You'll find the
branch instruction that determines "yes or no" and change it so it
either always branches or never branches, depending on what kracks the
code.  So, into ResEdit you go, and open up the resource corresponding
to where the branch instruction is.  If you can't figure out how to open
files in ResEdit, this tutorial may be more applicable to the guy in the
next cell over from you.  For example, if MacsBug told you that the
branch instruction looked like this:

'CODE 000A 29DE TCL Critical'       ; Will Branch
+02B36 05E4B886 *BEQ.S 'CODE 000A 29tical'+02B54 ; 05E4B8A4  |671C

you will look in the CODE resource with ID 10 (000A hex - see More
MacsBug Stuff).

So, open CODE resource 10.  If you have the CodeEditor, you'll see an
assembly language version of the resource.  From the "Resource" menu,
select "Open Using Hex Editor".  This will give you the raw hex and
ascii version you would get if you didn't have the CodeEditor.  From the
"Find" menu, choose "Offset", and type in the offset to the branch
statement that you wrote down earlier.  In the example above, the offset
would be 2B36.

If MacsBug was *not* listing offsets, you would choose "Find Hex" from
the "Find" menu and type in the machine language you had written down,
exactly and with no spaces.  You may have to try several different
resources before you find a match.  Even when you *do* find a match,
it's remotely possible that this is still the wrong resource, although
it's highly unlikely.

**Changing The Code**
Okay, here's where you actually change the code.  In machine language,
all branch statements begin with a 6.  To make the statement always
branch, change 6x, where x is some number, to 60.  If you go back into
the Code Editor window, you should see that the statement has changed to
bra.s.  Yer done.

If you want to make the statement never branch, you need to get rid of
the instruction. You can't just delete it, because the software you are
cracking uses offsets to determine where to branch to for other things,
and you will almost certainly make those offsets invalid.  So, you have
to replace the instruction with something else.  When you look at the
branch instruction in the code editor, you will see the machine language
version on the far right side of the window. You need to determine how
many words the instruction uses.  It will be either one or two.  You
will replace all the words of the instruction with 4e71.  4e71 is the
machine language version of the NOP assembly instruction (No OPeration).
Make sure to replace both words if the instruction uses two, otherwise
you'll crash the computer when you try to run the software.  And again,
you're done.

    **More Cool Chit To Do With The CodeEditor**

The Code Editor is pretty seriously powerful.  Here are some of its
features. The Code Editor window and the hex editor window stay in
sync.  In other words, if you select something in the code editor
window, then switch to the hex editor, it will be selected there too.
If you change a selection in the hex editor window, then click on the
code editor window, your changes will be reflected immediately.  The
other biggie is that you can find all of the references to an
instruction.  Lets say that the program has a subroutine that checks the
preferences file to verify that the serial number stored in it is
correct, and the program calls the subroutine a whole bunch of times
throughout execution.  This is a typical "make it tougher to crack the
program" strategy. Well, click once on the address of the start of the
subroutine in the code editor window, and the Goodies menu will give you
a listing of all the places in the code where that subroutine is
called.  So, you can just change the code to skip all the checks, and
you don't have to do anything with MacsBug except find the subroutine in
the first place (my editor says "Yippee" to this).

    **Additional Reading**

Wellp, I guess that's about it.  For more info on assembly, pick up any
of the three trillion books about it.  My reference is "Programming the
68000" by Steve Williams.  There is also a handy index card made by
Motorola that has everything pertinant in the book concatenated onto
it.  Wish I could find mine. For more info on toolbox traps, check the
Inside Smacintosh books on Apple's web site, or pick up one of the three
and a half trillion "Programming the Smac" books kicking around.  For
more info on MacsBugs, try "Debugging Macintosh Software With MacsBug"
by Othmer Straus.

    **Ego Bolstering For You**

And, for the meek among you, no one taught me how to do any of this, I
just figured it all out, so no excuses please.  All it takes is patience
and the intelligence of a lemur.  If you think a lemur is *really*
smart, maybe you should try gardening or basket weaving, or maybe even
froggie taxidermy.

    **Now I'm Lame, So An Extra MacsBug Example**

Okay, here's an extra added bonus.  I played the way kool move of
crashing my computer about half way through writing this (version 1.0,
that is), and I hadn't saved any of it. Whooooops.  Incidentally, I
crashed it trying to get a particular MacsBug listing, which just goes
to show how dangerous MacsBug can be, even if you *do* understand it.
Anyway, I wasn't too enthusiastic about retyping the whole thing, so I
fished it out of ram with MacsBug, and I'm gonna tell ya how I did it.

Obviously, as I'm typing this, it must be stored somewhere.  It's stored
in RAM, and to get it back, you just have to find where in RAM it is,
and pop it onto disk.  So, in MacsBug, use the 'hz' command (Heap Zones)
to display all the heaps.  A heap is a portion of memory that the
Smacintosh allocates to individual programs.  Now, I'm using BBEdit to
type this, and the 'hz' command shows me the BBEDit heap, among others.
For some weird reason, however, I didn't find it in the BBEdit heap, so
we'll just search all of application memory.  Here is a typical 'hz'
display from my computer, even as I type this!

Heap zones
 32  4916K  00002000 to 004CF32F  SysZone^  TheZone^
 32     3K    000021D0 to 00002E53 !
 32     9K    000C2E30 to 000C5623
 32   190K    0026E950 to 0029E343
 32 96175K  004CF330 to 062BB023
 32     7K    05917880 to 059197F3
 32    60K    0591A050 to 059290F3
 32     2K    05929890 to 0592A3B3
 32     9K    0592A3C0 to 0592C9C3
 32     5K    0592D1C0 to 0592E813
 32  2906K    059B9250 to 05C8FCD3  *NewsWatcher?
 32   999K    05D2F600 to 05E294A3  *ResEdit?
 32  2931K    05E33CB0 to 06110983  *Acrobat Reader 2.1?
 32   255K      05ECE230 to 05F0E223
 32   577K      06080290 to 06110963
 32   914K    0613F200 to 06223DE3  *BBEdit 4.0?  ApplZone^  TargetZone
 32   142K    0623D490 to 06260F63
 32   148K    06261530 to 06286643  *Finder?
 32    29K      0627DF90 to 06285783
 32    12K    062990B0 to 0629C143  *Queue Watcher?
 32    20K    0629F030 to 062A4423  *FaxMonitor?

You can see all the programs I'm running right now.  The heaps that are
indented reside inside the one above them that's not indented.  So, all
my applications reside inside the big 96175k heap.  This is the Process
Manager heap; it's used to manage applications.  So, I'm gonna search
the Process Manager heap.  I need to know the starting address (4cf330),
and the size of the heap.  I can find the size by typing 62bb023-4cf330
(end - start).  I get 5debcf3 back as the size of the heap.  Now, I use
MacsBug's Find command ('f').  You can type "? f" to see how it's used.
Basically, it's f <start address> <number of bytes to search> '<the text
to find>'.  So, to find my document, I type

f 4cf330 5debcf3 'So, to find my document'

and after waiting what seems an extraordinary amount of time, MacsBug
tells me where in memory that string is.  Now, I just need to find the
beginning and the end.  So, I use the 'dm' (Display Memory) command to
view memory before and after that address, till I've found the beginning
and the end.  I'll call the beginning address x and the end address y.
Now, I need to know the size of my document, so I type y-x and I get the
size, which I'll call z.  Time to save the whole thing to disk.  Type
"log <filename>" to begin logging all MacsBug output to disk (instead of
<filename> you just type the name - duh).  Now, I type "dma x z", where
x is the beginning address I found and z is the length I found, to
display memory as text from my starting address through the end of my
document.  Finally, I type "log" to close the log file.  And, that's
it.  When I restart, I'll have on my desktop a file called <filename>
that contains my document in pure text format.

Of course, if I'd been doing this in Microsoft Word, I'd have a ton of
weird formatting characters stuck in the middle of everything, but
fortunately, I'm not.

Anyway, hope this helps people, hope everyone saw the way kool lunar
eclipse last night, and happy kracking!

    **Acknowledgements & Fuckups**

Thanks to Mary (ex-computer neophyte, editor & newly accomplished
kracker, webwalkin' chik extraordinair)

Please direct praise, comments and criticism to alt.hackintosh.  If I
don't respond, I'm probably dead or in bed.

smeger September 27, 1996 (version 1.0 release)