RoboMan

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
Malware Tester
We all know that for almost every software, cracks or keygens are developed in order to unlock all the features without having to pay for it.

Nevertheless, this brings to main problems to the table:
  • Harming devs
  • A security risk
Sadly, the last one is the most difficult to make people understand. Usually, average users will just crack as many software they can and literally tell you that infections through cracks are a myth created by the companies so you don't crack their software.

I want to focus this thread on why cracks/keygens/activators are a security risk, so I invite you all to write your comment about it.

Why do you think cracks can get you infected? How do cracks infect your system if they're just "supossed to unlock a paid software"?
 

shmu26

Level 85
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
It's very simple. To run a crack, you turn off your AV and other security software, in order to run code written by a criminal whom you don't know, and in whom you have foolishly placed your trust, all because he is promising you an illegal freebie.
In short: Duh!
 

TairikuOkami

Level 27
Verified
Content Creator
Why do you think cracks can get you infected? How do cracks infect your system if they're just "supossed to unlock a paid software"?
I have never seen an infected crack or a keygen, but they were sometimes bundled with malware, just like any software can be. Keygen are packed like SFX, which contains a keygen + bonus (malware.exe). Working cracks (no-CD) are hardly ever infected, just marked by AVs as such, duh. It all comes down to, where do you download it, obviously. They are "trustworthy" warez sites and then there is the rest. Usually comments will reveal it.

It takes a lot of time and effort to make warez and people, who make it, would not desecrate by including malware. Some steam and GOG games actually use cracks for their games, like Independence War 2, and that is saying something, so much for "illegal". :ROFLMAO:

Sadly, the last one is the most difficult to make people understand. Usually, average users will just crack as many software they can and literally tell you that infections through cracks are a myth created by the companies so you don't crack their software.
It is not a myth, it is a fact. Actually most infections are made by companies, who fight warez. They release infected games and cracks to scare people off. Like GTA or I once downloaded Euro Truck Simulator, it was obviously fake, I was just wondering, what it will do. It was riddled with malware and it also contained links to dev webpage to buy it. I do not blame them, but some invest money to protections instead to the game.
 
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Eddie Morra

Malware authors know that people are out there looking to use paid content for free... they will try and lure those people in and benefit from them.

It's an easy game for them when one is intentionally sinking their boat, the malware authors being the sharks.
 
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Kuttz

Level 12
Verified
Certainly not all cracks and keygens are malware. But I wonder what is the motivation behind development of cracks, keygen etc for free ?? Those codes can't be built without many many hours of effort and expertise in programming, breaking/bypassing vendor encryption etc
 
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Eddie Morra

Those codes can't be built without many many hours of effort and expertise in programming, breaking/bypassing vendor encryption etc
There are hobbyists out there in reverse-engineering who enjoy cracking software and exposing working license key information or modifications to allow usage for free.

Sometimes, people who are good at this sort of thing end up re-evaluating what they are doing with their life and end up using the skills and experience they acquired through such potentially illegal and ethically wrong hobbyist work and moving into something good like... reverse-engineering malware with the intention to document it publicly and help with detection, or vulnerability research.
 

RoboMan

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
Malware Tester
There are hobbyists out there in reverse-engineering who enjoy cracking software and exposing working license key information or modifications to allow usage for free.

Sometimes, people who are good at this sort of thing end up re-evaluating what they are doing with their life and end up using the skills and experience they acquired through such potentially illegal and ethically wrong hobbyist work and moving into something good like... reverse-engineering malware with the intention to document it publicly and help with detection, or vulnerability research.
Usually, developing cracks or keygens implies having to actively update/upgrade the crack to combat the original software's devs updates. So it doesn't mean only to code the program, but to dedicate hours to mantain it. You really have to be a hobbyist lol...
 
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