Do you want to enjoy the latest software and games without paying a dime? Do you want to live a minimalist lifestyle and save money for more important things? Do you want to avoid getting infected by viruses and malware that could ruin your computer and steal your data? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this guide is for you!
Finding reputable sites
The first thing you need to do is to find reputable sites where you can download pirated software and games. You can’t trust the search engine results, because they are usually full of fake links, ads, and scams. The best way to find reliable sources is to visit subreddits like r/FREEMEDIAHECKYEAH or r/piracy and check their megathreads. There you will find links to trusted sites, torrents, direct downloads, and more. You can also ask for recommendations from other pirates who know their stuff.
Another way to find reliable sources is to look for scene releases. Scene releases are cracks that are made by groups that follow strict rules and standards. They are usually verified by other groups and sites before being distributed. If a scene release contains any malware, it will be nuked and the group will be removed from the scene. Scene releases are often safer than other cracks, because they have a reputation to maintain.
To know if a release is a scene release, you can look for some clues. Scene releases usually have a name that consists of the program’s name, version, platform, language, and group name. For example, Adore.Photostop.CC.2021.v188.8.131.52.x64.Multilingual.REPACK-P2P is not a scene release, because it has P2P in the name. A scene release would look something like Adore.Photostop.CC.2021.v184.108.40.206.x64.Multilingual-EMBRACE.
Scene releases also come with a file that has the group name with the .nfo extension. This file contains information about the program, the crack method, the installation instructions, the group’s greetings, and their signature or logo in ASCII art. You can open this file with notepad or a similar program. For example:
▄████████ ▄▄▄▄███▄▄▄▄ ▀█████████▄ ▄████████ ▄████████ ▄████████ ▄████████ ███ ███ ▄██▀▀▀███▀▀▀██▄ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ █▀ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ █▀ ███ █▀ ▄███▄▄▄ ███ ███ ███ ▄███▄▄▄██▀ ▄███▄▄▄▄██▀ ███ ███ ███ ▄███▄▄▄ ▀▀███▀▀▀ ███ ███ ███ ▀▀███▀▀▀██▄ ▀▀███▀▀▀▀▀ ▀███████████ ███ ▀▀███▀▀▀ ███ █▄ ███ ███ ███ ███ ██▄ ▀███████████ ███ ███ ███ █▄ ███ █▄ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ███ ██████████ ▀█ ███ █▀ ▄█████████▀ ███ ███ ███ █▀ ████████▀ ██████████ ███ ███ ██████████████████░░░░░░░░░░░█ █ EMBRACE PROUDLY PRESENTS █ █░░░░░░░░░░░██████████████████ Adore Photostop CC 2021 v220.127.116.11 x64 Multilingual Release Date: 10/2020 Protection: Adore DRM Requirements: Windows 10/11 64-bit Description: Adore Photostop CC 2021 is the world’s most advanced digital imaging software, used by photographers, designers, web professionals, and video professionals. Installation: 1. Unpack 2. Install 3. Replace the original files with the cracked ones from EMBRACE folder 4. Enjoy! Greetings: We salute our friends, our loyal members and our fair competitors. EMBRACE THE FUTURE!
Determining the crack method
After you have downloaded your favorite software or game, you will need to determine how the program’s protection or DRM is cracked. This will help you to identify what file(s) could contain possible viruses or other malicious code. There are four main methods of cracking software: patching, keygenning, using a hook DLL, and using a loader.
Patching is when the cracker modifies the original executable file of the program to bypass the protection checks. This is usually done by changing some bytes or instructions in the code. Patching is relatively easy to do with tools like x64dbg, but it gets very hard when the program is packed or protected using virtualization. Packing is when the program is compressed or encrypted to make it harder to reverse engineer. Virtualization is when the program is converted into a different instruction set that runs on a virtual machine.
To determine if the crack is done by patching, you can use tools like CFF Explorer or Resource Hacker to inspect the executable file. You can compare the file size, checksum, version information, resources, sections, imports, exports, etc. with the original file. If you see any significant differences or anomalies, then it is likely that the file has been patched.
You can also use tools like HxD to do a byte comparison between the original and the patched executable file. You can look for places where the bytes are different and mark them as possible patches. Then you can use tools like Ghidra or x64dbg to disassemble the executable file and analyze the code. You can go to the marked addresses and see what changes have been made. You can look for jumps or calls that divert the execution flow from the original code. You can also look for strings or messages that indicate that the program has been cracked.
Keygenning is when the cracker generates a valid serial number or license key for the program. This is usually done by analyzing the algorithm that the program uses to verify the key. Keygenning is more difficult than patching, because it requires more mathematical and programming skills.
To determine if the crack is done by keygenning, you can look for a separate file that generates keys for the program. This file may have a name like keygen.exe, kg.exe, etc. You can also look for instructions on how to use the keygen in a text file or a readme file.
Using a hook DLL
Using a hook DLL is a method of cracking where the cracker loads a custom dynamic link library into the program’s memory. The hook DLL’s entry point will execute the cracker’s code, which will change the memory permissions using something like VirtualProtect and then patch the protection functions to return fake results. This method is often used when the program is obfuscated or packed using virtualization. Obfuscation is a technique that makes the program’s code hard to understand or reverse engineer. Hook DLLs are usually obfuscated using virtualization themselves, so they are very hard to analyze.
To determine if the crack is done by using a hook DLL, you can look for an extra file that has a name similar to the program’s executable file but with a different extension. For example, if the program’s executable file is program.exe, then the hook DLL may have a name like vcruntime140.dll, winmm.dll, etc. You can also look for instructions on how to use the hook DLL in a text file or a readme file.
You can also use tools like Process Explorer or Process Hacker in a virtual environment to inspect the program’s process and see if there is any injected DLL in the memory. You can also use tools like x64dbg or Ghidra to disassemble the hook DLL and analyze the code. You can look for functions that hook or patch the protection functions or the virtual machine. You can also look for strings or messages that indicate that the hook DLL has been created by a specific cracker or group.
Using a loader
Using a loader is a method of cracking where the cracker runs a separate program that patches the original executable file in memory. This is usually done by loading the original executable file into memory, changing the memory permissions using something like VirtualProtectEx, and then patching the memory using WriteProcessMemory Windows API function. This method is often used when the program is packed or has hash checking on the binaries. Hash checking is when the program calculates and verifies the hash value of the executable file or its parts to detect any modifications.
To determine if the crack is done by using a loader, you can look for a separate file that runs the program for you. This file may have a name like loader.exe, ldr.exe, run.exe, etc. You can also look for instructions on how to use the loader in a text file or a readme file.
Checking for packers and protectors
To check if the crack is packed or protected using virtualization, you can use tools like Exeinfo PE or Detect It Easy. They will tell you if the crack is packed using VMProtect or Themida, which are common packers that use virtualization obfuscation.
Scanning for viruses and malware
Before you run any crack file, you should scan it with an antivirus program or upload it to VirusTotal. This will tell you if the file contains any known viruses or malware. However, this is not foolproof, because some antivirus programs may flag legitimate cracks as false positives, and some malware may evade detection by using encryption or polymorphism. Polymorphism is when the malware changes its code every time it runs to avoid signature-based detection.
One thing to keep in mind is that packed binaries are usually detected in VirusTotal regardless if they actually contain a virus. This is because packers often use techniques that are similar to malware, such as encryption, compression, anti-debugging, anti-analysis, etc. Therefore, you should not rely solely on VirusTotal results, but also use your own judgment and common sense.
Testing and patching in a virtual environment
To be extra safe, you should test and patch your programs in a virtual environment using Sandboxie-Plus. Sandboxie-Plus is a tool that creates isolated sandboxes where you can run programs without affecting your system. By default, Sandboxie-Plus only prevents programs from modifying your system and deleting files. They could still exfiltrate data by sending network packets or accessing your clipboard. To prevent this, you should configure Sandboxie-Plus to block internet access and clipboard sharing for your sandboxed programs.
You have learned how to use pirated software and games without worrying about viruses and malware and save money for more important things. You have learned how to find reputable sites, determine the crack method, check for packers and protectors, scan for viruses and malware, and test and patch in a virtual environment. You have also learned some of the tools and techniques that crackers use to bypass protection and obfuscation. By following these steps, you have achieved minimalism in your digital life. You can now enjoy free (not as in freedom) software and games without compromising your security or morality. You are a minimalist pirate!