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Accessing the source of programs

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Lets say if you bought a program and wanted to find out what language(s) it was written in, and actually view the code as well so you could use bits of it for personal experimentation, is it possible to do ? and if so any ideas on to go about doing it?

I'm not meaning the legal issues, this is just a concept type thing.

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There are a few methods of determining the compiler, and thus the language... but obtaining the "source" isn't possible, unless you don't mind assembly.

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OK, so how do warez crackers go on?

Creating keygens and bustin warez?

They must access the code, then take stuff out and put stuff in.?

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Wrong. Through reverse engineering and careful assembly analysis one can tell traces of other languages. VB has a different assembly coding style (with different conventions) than C++ or anything else. For example. You can tell C by it's massive library calls and obscure functions. C is the hardest to identify, VB being the easiest. I'd do a short example on how to tell but I only have C programs on here, and without a easy to disassemble VB program I don't have anything to compare it to.

Detailed ASM forensics takes time. But yes, you can determine what language something is written in. Maybe I'll make a tutorial on language identification later on. It can be done. But it's far from simple.

Viewing the code is realistically possible, but far from probable. The code at best can be reconstructed with basic names, but the exact code mimicked word for word? No. You lose all code specifics during the linking and assembling phases.

Warez are created through careful analysis of the underlying ASM. It's no laughing matter. It takes time and deep understanding of your operating system.

Edited by deadc0de
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Reverse Engineering indeed, i've been away from this field from some time and plan to get back into later on, luckily for you i still have some of the sites and forums i used to frequent. At one point or another you'll want to learn assembly

You'll want to start on this thread...<a href="http://community.reverse-engineering.net/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=4605&sid=7afee9ea4138b31a2ce80e94bfdc1d10" target="_blank">http://community.reverse-engineering.net/v...ce80e94bfdc1d10</a>

<a href="http://www.woodmann.com/crackz/Getstart.htm" target="_blank">http://www.woodmann.com/crackz/Getstart.htm</a>

<a href="http://win32assembly.online.fr/" target="_blank">http://win32assembly.online.fr/</a>

<a href="http://www.reverse-engineering.net/" target="_blank">http://www.reverse-engineering.net/</a>

Reverse Engineering is pretty much hands on, so be ready to read and experiment alot

when you want to play around on your own go here for some legally crackable programs http://crackmes.de

Edited by codar
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Thanks for all the good info. That crackmes site is pretty cool.

We are starting to learn Assembly in the new year, so will use this area for practice.

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