GEOSoft

More protection for your applications. (updated)

29 posts in this topic

#1 ·  Posted (edited)

Ok you wrote an app and you are going to sell it. How do you prevent someone from simply copying your files to a second system and thereby getting a free copy? Use this little bit of help.

I have now created an installation package of this application which is available on this page of my website.

Here is the way you use it.

Usage

If this is the first run and your AutoIt3/Include folder can not be determined, you will be asked to browse to that folder. This should only happen once.

Run A3 Copy Protect. First you will be asked to browse to the au3 file. Once you select that file the rest will be done for you by the application and you will see a couple of extra files placed in the folder. Now compile your au3 file and run the resultant exe file. Everything will work normally. Copy that exe to another system and try to use it. That is where A3 Copy Protect takes over. The exe that was copied over to the other system will be destroyed when you first try to run it. It does that by checking certain information against a registry entry that was created the first time you ran the app and, since the information won't be the same between two machines, it will determine that the file has been bootlegged from someone else and that invalidates the copy so the exe file is deleted and replaced with Chk_Mate.exe.

If the second user really wants a copy of your application they will have to do a proper installation. How the file is distributed and how the users are tracked is up to you. My favorite method is to require a install from the download page and to force registration prior to the download. You can easily check if the user is already registered or not.

Demo code.

#include <_AppProtect.au3>;; Placed here automatically by A3 Copy Protect
MsgBox(0, "Starting code", "Your code starts running here", 3)
$c = 0
Do
   MsgBox(0, "Running Loop " & $c, "This is where your code is running", 1)
   $c += 1
Until $c = 3
MsgBox(0, "Finished", "This is where your code ends", 5)

Enjoy and please post your comments or bug reports.

Edit: Changed the links, directions and removed a post that is no longer required.

Edit: Fixed the download link-- Thanks Chimera

Edited by GEOSoft

George

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The PCRE (Regular Expression) ToolKit for AutoIT - (Updated Oct 20, 2011 ver:3.0.1.13) - Please update your current version before filing any bug reports. The installer now includes both 32 and 64 bit versions. No change in version number.

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Cool. This could be useful. :)

I haven't tested this yet but it sounds like a very useful idea. I have visited potential customers and found they are already using my software and they didn't get it from me, but bought it from someone who copied it from a legitimate customer.

Would there be a problem if the software was backed up and then needed to recover after a hardware failure or loss of data?

Would it be necessary to reinstall the software, maybe after making the backup?


Serial port communications UDF Includes functions for binary transmission and reception.printing UDF Useful for graphs, forms, labels, reports etc.Add User Call Tips to SciTE for functions in UDFs not included with AutoIt and for your own scripts.Functions with parameters in OnEvent mode and for Hot Keys One function replaces GuiSetOnEvent, GuiCtrlSetOnEvent and HotKeySet.UDF IsConnected2 for notification of status of connected state of many urls or IPs, without slowing the script.

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#4 ·  Posted (edited)

I haven't tested this yet but it sounds like a very useful idea. I have visited potential customers and found they are already using my software and they didn't get it from me, but bought it from someone who copied it from a legitimate customer.

Would there be a problem if the software was backed up and then needed to recover after a hardware failure or loss of data?

Would it be necessary to reinstall the software, maybe after making the backup?

Only in the case where the hard drive had to be replaced. But you could solve that easily enough if you have a list of registered users so that you know who to send the replacement files to. As long as they have a backup to restore from they will be OK.

EDIT: Just so the thief isn't left with nothing I made sure that the Check_Mate.exe file that is left behind is at least useful. I just won't tell them how to use it.

Edited by GEOSoft

George

Question about decompiling code? Read the decompiling FAQ and don't bother posting the question in the forums.

Be sure to read and follow the forum rules. -AKA the AutoIt Reading and Comprehension Skills test.***

The PCRE (Regular Expression) ToolKit for AutoIT - (Updated Oct 20, 2011 ver:3.0.1.13) - Please update your current version before filing any bug reports. The installer now includes both 32 and 64 bit versions. No change in version number.

Visit my Blog .. currently not active but it will soon be resplendent with news and views. Also please remove any links you may have to my website. it is soon to be closed and replaced with something else.

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I had install the demo version example and 'Its amazing !" ;)

Good idea...:)


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#6 ·  Posted (edited)

I just cut out all the fuss and muss by creating this as a standalone app. All the work is done for you with no files to copy or create. All you have to do is run the app and browse to the script that you plan to compile. The download is available from this page.

A3 Copy Protect

Use the "Download now" link but please read about it first and pay attention to the paragraph right below the image.

Enjoy.

Edited by GEOSoft

George

Question about decompiling code? Read the decompiling FAQ and don't bother posting the question in the forums.

Be sure to read and follow the forum rules. -AKA the AutoIt Reading and Comprehension Skills test.***

The PCRE (Regular Expression) ToolKit for AutoIT - (Updated Oct 20, 2011 ver:3.0.1.13) - Please update your current version before filing any bug reports. The installer now includes both 32 and 64 bit versions. No change in version number.

Visit my Blog .. currently not active but it will soon be resplendent with news and views. Also please remove any links you may have to my website. it is soon to be closed and replaced with something else.

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what is the demo supposed to do?

because i'm not seeing anything when i run it.

its just there in the tray.

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what is the demo supposed to do?

because i'm not seeing anything when i run it.

its just there in the tray.

I just downloaded the file and did a new install. That part all went fine and the demo shortcuts were placed on the desktop as they should be. The demo is currently the same as it was before, just a few message boxes. Is it possible that you have a message box under another page and that MsgBox is waiting for action?

What is your OS? 32 bit or 64 bit?

The part that changed was that the whole method of creating the protection in your script is new. When you open A3 Copy Protect you are asked to browse to the script that you plan to compile and release (by any method). Then the rest is done for you. You don't have to do any file copies, create a cm.dat file or write the #include line into your script. That's taken care of.

If this is not helping then tell me, step by step, what you have done.


George

Question about decompiling code? Read the decompiling FAQ and don't bother posting the question in the forums.

Be sure to read and follow the forum rules. -AKA the AutoIt Reading and Comprehension Skills test.***

The PCRE (Regular Expression) ToolKit for AutoIT - (Updated Oct 20, 2011 ver:3.0.1.13) - Please update your current version before filing any bug reports. The installer now includes both 32 and 64 bit versions. No change in version number.

Visit my Blog .. currently not active but it will soon be resplendent with news and views. Also please remove any links you may have to my website. it is soon to be closed and replaced with something else.

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How exactly do you install this? I tried it and for some reason A3 Copy Protect protected itself by deleting itself and replacing the A3 Copy Protect with Checkmate.exe when I tried to run it. It seems like a good protection scheme to have on my software if I could only keep A3 Copy Protect from deleting itself.

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#10 ·  Posted (edited)

How exactly do you install this? I tried it and for some reason A3 Copy Protect protected itself by deleting itself and replacing the A3 Copy Protect with Checkmate.exe when I tried to run it. It seems like a good protection scheme to have on my software if I could only keep A3 Copy Protect from deleting itself.

I was working at that problem earlier today, it just bit me a few days ago for the first time. My hunch is you ran it on Vista. I need another day to test the fix, recompile and upload the new version. Edited by GEOSoft

George

Question about decompiling code? Read the decompiling FAQ and don't bother posting the question in the forums.

Be sure to read and follow the forum rules. -AKA the AutoIt Reading and Comprehension Skills test.***

The PCRE (Regular Expression) ToolKit for AutoIT - (Updated Oct 20, 2011 ver:3.0.1.13) - Please update your current version before filing any bug reports. The installer now includes both 32 and 64 bit versions. No change in version number.

Visit my Blog .. currently not active but it will soon be resplendent with news and views. Also please remove any links you may have to my website. it is soon to be closed and replaced with something else.

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I guess you could have your installer create an encrypted 'C' drive serial (etc) in an ini file or registry, then have the program always check that. Not that I've ever needed to do such ... the idea just occurred to me, so I thought I'd share it.


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I guess you could have your installer create an encrypted 'C' drive serial (etc) in an ini file or registry, then have the program always check that. Not that I've ever needed to do such ... the idea just occurred to me, so I thought I'd share it.

It writes to the registry using encrypted system data. Ini files could just be copied over to another system although the data could still be checked for validity. I just figured the registry was a bit more secure. The problem was that I forgot to add 1 line to make it Vista compatable. Want to guess which line?

I'm doing a quick re-write to give it a GUI and make it friendlier to the user. Should be up later today.


George

Question about decompiling code? Read the decompiling FAQ and don't bother posting the question in the forums.

Be sure to read and follow the forum rules. -AKA the AutoIt Reading and Comprehension Skills test.***

The PCRE (Regular Expression) ToolKit for AutoIT - (Updated Oct 20, 2011 ver:3.0.1.13) - Please update your current version before filing any bug reports. The installer now includes both 32 and 64 bit versions. No change in version number.

Visit my Blog .. currently not active but it will soon be resplendent with news and views. Also please remove any links you may have to my website. it is soon to be closed and replaced with something else.

"Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!"

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Yep you guessed it. I was running this on Vista. I can't wait for the fix and thanks for jumping on the solution so quickly. I have other copy protection solutions but they don't play nice with Auto It so yours seems to be the perfect way to go.

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Just wondering? Does this work 100% with the latest version of Auto It?

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Just wondering? Does this work 100% with the latest version of Auto It?

There is nothing in the code that will be affected by AutoIt versions. As a matter of fact I'm testing and doing the rebuild with the latest version.

George

Question about decompiling code? Read the decompiling FAQ and don't bother posting the question in the forums.

Be sure to read and follow the forum rules. -AKA the AutoIt Reading and Comprehension Skills test.***

The PCRE (Regular Expression) ToolKit for AutoIT - (Updated Oct 20, 2011 ver:3.0.1.13) - Please update your current version before filing any bug reports. The installer now includes both 32 and 64 bit versions. No change in version number.

Visit my Blog .. currently not active but it will soon be resplendent with news and views. Also please remove any links you may have to my website. it is soon to be closed and replaced with something else.

"Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!"

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George

Question about decompiling code? Read the decompiling FAQ and don't bother posting the question in the forums.

Be sure to read and follow the forum rules. -AKA the AutoIt Reading and Comprehension Skills test.***

The PCRE (Regular Expression) ToolKit for AutoIT - (Updated Oct 20, 2011 ver:3.0.1.13) - Please update your current version before filing any bug reports. The installer now includes both 32 and 64 bit versions. No change in version number.

Visit my Blog .. currently not active but it will soon be resplendent with news and views. Also please remove any links you may have to my website. it is soon to be closed and replaced with something else.

"Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!"

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#17 ·  Posted (edited)

I get Posted Image

after using A3 Copy Protect.exe on the script and then trying to compile the script.

Edited by will88

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I get Posted Image

after using A3 Copy Protect.exe on the script and then trying to compile the script.

Thanks. I'll double check the way that file gets installed. Check that the file actually exists in your AutoIt3\includes folder.

George

Question about decompiling code? Read the decompiling FAQ and don't bother posting the question in the forums.

Be sure to read and follow the forum rules. -AKA the AutoIt Reading and Comprehension Skills test.***

The PCRE (Regular Expression) ToolKit for AutoIT - (Updated Oct 20, 2011 ver:3.0.1.13) - Please update your current version before filing any bug reports. The installer now includes both 32 and 64 bit versions. No change in version number.

Visit my Blog .. currently not active but it will soon be resplendent with news and views. Also please remove any links you may have to my website. it is soon to be closed and replaced with something else.

"Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!"

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that is the most convoluted piece of code I've ever read. congrats on the obscufation.

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