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Author Topic: slock - anyone using it still?  (Read 3620 times)

timns

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slock - anyone using it still?
« on: December 07, 2010, 12:07:01 PM »
This has to be worth a go: does anyone on DC have any experience with slock? It's a software licensing/protection system that disappeared a few years ago. I've tried in vain to track down the developer, but no luck.

The story is that we have one piece of software left that uses this license scheme, which we will need to support for years to come, and the key generator that came with the program is only installed on one remaining PC here at the office. If that PC ever dies we're in big trouble.

In an incredibly short-sighted move, the company did not buy the source code for the key generator, so now I am looking around for a way to get it installed and working on a backup machine.

Long shot: anyone got that 'certificate builder' lying around?

mouser

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 12:08:29 PM »
one brute force solution would be create a vmware virtual machine image that runs the key generator if it wont just run on any pc.. then you could run it virtually if you had to.

timns

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 12:11:07 PM »
Forgot to mention that the key generator itself must be 'registered' to run. And of course, there's no-one left any more to create the key for the key generator!  :'(

This is why they should've bought the source code - I could then have simply re-built the stupid thing without the license check.

f0dder

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 04:23:40 PM »
I second what mouser said: try doing a "P2V" of the machine that has the last remaining install of the key generator. Hopefully it won't be super tied down to machine identifiers and whatnot... it's worth a shot, at least.

PS: overzealous license protection only hurts legitimate end-users - shows time and time again :)
- carpe noctem

timns

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 04:33:51 PM »
Ok I should give that a go - I slightly misunderstood what mouser was saying.

Turns out the ol' fella was making a really good suggestion, I was just too dim to realise  :-[

4wd

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2010, 05:59:53 PM »
Forgot to mention that the key generator itself must be 'registered' to run. And of course, there's no-one left any more to create the key for the key generator!  :'(

Unless the software validates itself over the net or, (as f0dder said), is tied to machine identifiers I would have thought you'd be able to pull the registration info from wherever it's hiding, eg. registry, file, (AD is also a possibility), etc.

However, the very first thing you should be doing is creating a raw drive image of the machine for backup.  I say raw because you don't know what kind of registration magic is used and it's better to be safe.

Is that the one by TSM Inc and does no one keep registration info/emails where you work?

timns

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2010, 06:27:32 PM »
Forgot to mention that the key generator itself must be 'registered' to run. And of course, there's no-one left any more to create the key for the key generator!  :'(

Unless the software validates itself over the net or, (as f0dder said), is tied to machine identifiers I would have thought you'd be able to pull the registration info from wherever it's hiding, eg. registry, file, (AD is also a possibility), etc.

However, the very first thing you should be doing is creating a raw drive image of the machine for backup.  I say raw because you don't know what kind of registration magic is used and it's better to be safe.

Is that the one by TSM Inc and does no one keep registration info/emails where you work?

No, it's by "crypto central" and it seems they went down the lav some time ago without doing the decent thing and making their code available to registered users.

The problem is that when you install their software, you then have to send a certificate which contains all sorts of PC-specific information, and get an activation back. And of course now, we're simply screaming into the void.

Stoic Joker

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2010, 06:30:14 PM »
Not sure if it helps any but some googling turned up this description/feature list for, AecSLock shareware protection 1.11 - Does that sound about right?

Quote
aecSLock allows you to turn your applications into shareware with very little effort. SLock uses the famous Blowfish encryption algorithm to ensure security and flexible registration options to allow you to protect your application how you want. Features include:Protection using encrypted entries in the Windows registry and in a given DLL for additional securityFive modes of protection:Number of daysNumber of unique daysNumber of startsSpecific Expiry DateTime outSLock supports Grace periods - the software will work for a given number of starts/days after it has expired, allowing you to show a LRegister Now!l message.Flexible protection optionsRegistration for a given userRegistration for a single machineThe Trial period can be extended up to 99 times by an extension unlock code. You can control if and when you wish to allow SLockls trial period to be extended.Many more...

4wd

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2010, 07:00:21 PM »
No, it's by "crypto central" and it seems they went down the lav some time ago without doing the decent thing and making their code available to registered users.

Same thing I believe, www.crypto-central.com was the homepage of TMS TSM Inc - as shown here.

Quote
The problem is that when you install their software, you then have to send a certificate which contains all sorts of PC-specific information, and get an activation back. And of course now, we're simply screaming into the void.

Sounds like it might be tied to hardware IDs then.  You'll have to pray to the Gods of Hardware that the pc never dies ;)

Otherwise, from the simple explanation given here, (second post from end), would it not be easier to remove it from your software, (substituting something other if necessary), and push it out as an upgrade?

Or am I getting this wrong and you just provide support/licensing for third party software?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 07:04:49 PM by 4wd »

timns

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2010, 09:07:12 PM »
No, it's our software, but several of our clients are either unable or unwilling to accept updates. So if they lose a PC and need to re-install, it's up to us to support them with what they have on that old CD we shipped to them back in the day.

I'm sure you've run into similar situations.

timns

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2010, 06:58:34 PM »
Ok - I cloned the disk, and after only an hour or so of repair-bsod-repair again-bsod-repair-etc etc. I now have a working VirtualBox version of our ailing old license server.

Marvellous suggestion chaps, and not too painful in the end.

4wd

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2010, 10:03:16 PM »
Actually, that's quite interesting - doesn't that imply that registration is not tied to hardware IDs?

As such, you should be able to extract whatever method it uses to store the registration info and that should enable you to install it on any machine, (if you can be bothered now you have a working solution, that is).

timns

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2010, 10:12:05 PM »
Actually, that's quite interesting - doesn't that imply that registration is not tied to hardware IDs?

As such, you should be able to extract whatever method it uses to store the registration info and that should enable you to install it on any machine, (if you can be bothered now you have a working solution, that is).

It comes up with a whiny message about the hardware having changed, but then lets you in... not very impressive IMHO, but thank god it's got that little loophole. I just tried the same trick with our own software, but that's more militant and refuses to run.

f0dder

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2010, 01:46:26 AM »
Nice to hear that, timns!

Have you tried running the VirtualBox image on a couple of different host machines, just to make sure there's no silly thing such as MAC address locking or the like? (I would assume VB to have separate MACs for it's virtual NIC adapters, but you never know).
- carpe noctem

timns

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2010, 09:52:00 AM »
Ah Mr f0dder, thank you. No, I have only run this image on one of the dev machines here. I'll have to stick the image on an old portable drive and see if it'll launch from other VB's too.

Reasonably confident that we're ok, but you're right: one needs to be sure.

timns

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Re: slock - anyone using it still?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2011, 07:18:38 AM »
In case anyone else ever finds themselves in the same boat - I got this going, thanks to the suggestions in this thread. My gratitude to one and all!

I used Oracle's VM Virtual Box to run the image, and it seems to be ok on any machine. So now we're well and truly back in bidness! (sic)

Now to code the stupid slock OUT of our products and hope our older clients see the light  :-\