Cuz I sure can't
Published on January 5, 2007 By greywar In Pure Technology

Wibu wants to see hacker's skills in action and they are willing to pay for it.

"Wibu-Systems USA is challenging hackers around the globe to take their best shot at cracking their encryption technology.

It's a winner-take-all contest, and the prize is $40,000. It is slated to begin at 6 p.m. EST Jan. 31 and end at 5:59 p.m. EST March 14—or when someone defeats CodeMeter, Wibu's dongle-based anti-piracy tool, and shows the company how it was done. "

My only question is how long will this take: A day or a week? They did try this before for 1/10th the money and got no takers.





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on Jan 05, 2007
It's called "round em up boys!"

Why am i surprised they had no takers, isn't hacking illegal - so lets go and put all our illegal names up in lights shall we?
It will be interesting to see if anyone takes it up this time.
on Jan 05, 2007
Dongle-based? What software uses this? It wouldn't be impossible to crack, the thing is no one would really bother.

Dongle based piracy protection is a has-been tech, imho. It's been around forever, and it has been discarded by developers over the years mainly because people hated having to keep track of a physical "key" to use a program. Vendors have to deal with people who lose the dongle and demand a new one. It's also a serious pain and expense for corporate software vendors to supply physical dongles for every computer in the company.

I don't see this kind of thing going anywhere. They've probably stowed parts of the program on the dongle along with whatever encryption/anti-piracy thang they're using. To me it won't matter, because in order for THEM to be successful, developers need to license it, and I doubt seriously many will.

on Jan 05, 2007

isn't hacking illegal

Noper, not unless you break some other very specific laws in the process... hacking simply to find exploits is not only legal but common.


Baker - DOD still uses it in many places as do many commercial enterprises. Wibu has aready been successful in this area and will likely continue to be even if only their existing customer base continues to use them.

on Jan 05, 2007
Apparently, Oracle did this a while back and the prize was a trip to space.
on Jan 05, 2007
Like... who commercially? There used to be a lot of high-end software. Didn't the first copies of 3D Max use a dongle? Maybe it was a different developer, I can't remember, but it was a 3D prog.

I can see it for limited use in places like the DoD, but I doubt seriously any developer who sells software widely would ever bother with dongles again. I guess they could make plenty on government contracts and whatnot, though. I don't believe the average home or corporate consumer would tolerate carrying a keychain full of dongles to use their computer.

To most hackers it would be a non-issue, I think, because they'd have no interest in what they are trying to access. Granted, I haven't known many "lone gunmen" hackers who just hack crap for the principle of it. The real losses come from software that you just couldn't sell with a dongle.

on Jan 05, 2007
I mean, if you really wanted this kind of security, you could sell your software on a PCI card, or a hard drive, or some sort of flash brick that fits in a CD Rom slot. All you are doing is turning your software into hardware, and forcing hackers to copy the hardware, too.

Unhackable? Hardly. It just makes it expensive or annoying to do. Look at the game industry, for instance. They went from carts to cd and dvd storage, which is easy to copy. Sure, there were people who could pirate the carts, but the normal user wouldn't bother. The benefits of the storage outweighed the carts security.

So this is like a step backward, really, to me. I guess like you say in a limited way it is understandable, but I'd bet you'll never see a dongle with the next copy of Photoshop or Windows. I could be wrong *shrug*
on Jan 05, 2007
So this is like a step backward, really, to me
Now that I can get behind, but just because it sucks or there are better ways to do it doesn't mean that there wont be adopters though. VHS sucked compared to Betamax after all...