mala::home Davide “+mala” Eynard’s website


On Cracking

Some time ago I cracked my first Mac app. Overall it was a nice experience and reminded me of good old times. Here are some comments about it:

  • it was the first commercial app (without considering MATLAB which I use for work) that I actually found useful after 1 year of Mac. I think that is good, because it means opensource software still satisfies most of my needs (or is it bad, because it means I am becoming a lazy hipster now?)
  • the tutorial by fG! has been precious to me, especially to quickly find the tools of the trade. I suggest it to anyone willing to start reversing on Mac
  • I am not half bad, after all: I managed to do that with the trial version of Hopper, so only deadlisting + time limit, and that added some spice to the game (I know everyone is thinking about Swordfish now... but no, there was no bj in the meanwhile ;-))
  • cracking is still pure fun, especially when you find that the protection is hidden in functions with names purposely chosen to mislead you (no, I won't tell more details, see below)
  • I have immediately bought the app: it was cheaper than going to a cinema and cracking it was more entertaining than the average blockbuster movie, plus I am left with a great program to use... That's what I call a bargain!

I still do not agree with Daniel Jalkut, the developer of MarsEdit: I think he wasted time on a trivial protection to sell some closed-source code he should have shared freely (as in freedom). But don't misunderstand me... Who am I to judge what somebody should or should not do? The only reason why I say this is that MarsEdit is a cool program (which btw I am using right now) and, while it is worth all the money I payed, not being able to see it open sourced is a real pity. But I respect Daniel's thought and I think his work deserved to be supported.

I know not all of you think about it this way, and probably I might have thought about it differently too, years ago. One thing, however, never changed: cracking/reversing is so much more than getting software for free, and if you stop there you are missing most of the fun ;-)