The Running Program
Posted by Trixter on March 13, 2006
As promised, The Running Program has been cracked and made available. I can’t take credit for the crack; my good friend Demonlord took the program and what little progress I’ve made and did a proper INT 13 redirect crack for it. (Check the file NOTE.TXT for info, and PROTECT for the “secret data” that the program was protected with.)
Demonlord, for those not familiar with his work, is the hardest-working oldskool cracker still at it today. Nowadays we have windows executables with symbol information still linked to them — this is child’s play. Way back when, we had 512-byte boot loaders that we had to disassemble by hand. Demonlord still does this, and is the best cracker I know both two decades ago and today. He’s so good that most cracks take him less than an hour, and unlike most hack jobs, they’re quite elegant and graceful. For example, check The Running Program: His crack never even touched the .exe — instead it loads an INT 13 handler that intercepts the request and redirects it to the data saved off of the protected track.
You know how there’s one person responsible for about 95% of all the ATARI 2600 cartridge ROM dumps out there? Demonlord is responsible for cracking 95% of all the bootable PC diskette images out there. The next time you play a bootable PC game in an emulator, say a little howdy for Demonlord.