The Cracks, Patches and Keygens are used in Windows to extend the lifetime of the trial period of a software, patching a software to bypass the license check, and to activate a software with illegally generated keys respectively.
Computer users use a variety of programs and applications, such as text editing software, photo editing software, video and audio editing software, compression and decompression software, and many other computer game software.
Most of these programs, games and applications used are paid (not free).
Either free for a short period of time (a trial version running for days or months) or a free copy but with limited privileges / features… until you purchase the full version.
To use these programs without buying them, some people use software hacking using what is commonly known as “cracking”.
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A crack is a methodology for breaking into a secured computer system. It was coined in the 1980s by hackers who wanted to disassociate themselves from the more malicious practices carried out by hackers. A cracker’s sole purpose is to break into a system, gaining fulfillment from being able to “crack” the system’s security shield. Real hackers go beyond just opening up a system. They go inside the system to gain knowledge and information for malicious intent, playful pranks and profiteering.
The term crack is also commonly applied to the files used in software cracking programs, which enable illegal copying and the use of commercial software by breaking (or cracking) various registration and copy-protection techniques.
What Exactly Is Cracked Software ?
Let’s look at the word crack, there are tons of definitions of the word crack out there but I find this one very fascinating. Crack is a narrow opening between two parts of something which has split or been broken.
Software is a collection of codes, associated libraries and documentation, which can be used to solve computation tasks or problems. E.g. WhatsApp, Microsoft word, Browsers, etc. Everything on the computer (mobile phones, PCs) that can’t be touched is software. We will not spend too much time talking about what software is in this article because there the above definition should answer your question of what software is.
Cracked Software: based on our definition above we can say a cracked software is a software which has a narrow opening between its normal program code; this opening is usually inserted by crackers.
You may ask the question “why will anyone want to crack a software”? Well, some software is not free, so for them to use it without paying for it, they usually create an opening (crack) in the software that will allow them to use it without payment.
A crack cracks the code of the software to increase the number of days of its trial period. Let’s say, a program gives you a 15 day trail period. The crack made for that software can extend that 15 day trial period limit into something like 365 days or 3650 days by cracking and altering the software code. A crack is an additional software that you have to run after installing the main software. The crack asks the user to browse for the main software installation folder and the main software file inside that folder located inside the Program Files folder in the C: drive of Windows OS. After accessing that file, it alters the code and extends the trail period of that software.
Cracks are most popular for software that do not connect to the internet often such as media converters.
What is Patch ?
A patch is a pre-cracked main file of a software. It comes with the main software in a package. Users are instructed to replace the original software with the patch file of that software. Patches excel where cracks fail. Some software periodically check the software license with their server over the internet. The trouble with cracks is that once you’ve cracked a software with a crack, the next time that software connects to the internet, it will check its code with its server. If the software is illegally activated it’ll notify the user that the software is not licensed, and will provide a certain number of days for the user to register it or buy a genuine license. A patch modifies the code and removes the feature that makes the software check the license over the internet.
Patches are most popular for software that access the internet regularly such as download managers.
What is Keygen (Key Generator) ?
A keygen is limited in its functionality. It lets you create illegal license keys for the software. Each key generated by the keygen may not work i.e., may not register or activate the software. Users, sometimes, need to generate many keys and try them one by one to get the one that works. In case of a keygen, its developer tries to deduce the algorithm used in the main software to generate keys for that specific software, he then uses the same algorithm in his keygen.
Keygens are made for a wide variety of software.
Some kind of crack file
- Patch: This is a patch that is run in the form of a crack, this is a useful tool that works to fix that program code so that you can register a program that you can use to be fully functional and not use software restriction.
- Loader: As you all know people often use Loader to run that program. You may not know when you run the program it will load and will turn it into a registered account. This is also a type of crack that users must always run when using a non-copyrighted program.
- Reg File: This file is saved as a .reg file, whenever you use this file in the Registry of Windows operating system, the software will be registered and can be used indefinitely.
- Key File: This is a separate registered software of each program saved as a key
- Repack: This is a type of software that has been added key or cracked only after installation is complete can be used comfortably.
The main risks of using cracked software
There is no surprise that the Internet is filled with cracked versions of the different software. People believe that they can save the money and effort by using it. Unfortunately, but there are lots of risks related to the use of such pirated copies that should make them avoid it. The use of the cracked software can lead you to such problems:
- Violation of the copyright law. In most of the countries, the use of cracks and cracked software is considered illegal. Depending on the location of your computer, you can get into jail or receive a requirement to pay a fine. Only on rare occasions it is legitimate to use cracked software.
- The loss of important information. The cracked software is capable of gaining the access to any information that is kept on your hard drive. It can try to erase it or encrypt it without any permission asked. In most of the cases, victims are left without an ability to get this data back to them.
- Infiltration of malware. The most of cracked software is filled with viruses and malware. There are lots of different types of viruses that can be installed on the system in a bundle. While some part of them can be used just for advertising or spreading spam, other can try to get the access to the credit card or try to steal other sensitive information.
- Redirects to unsafe sites. Cracks and pirated software are often promoted via resources that are considered unsafe. They can be filled with commercial content, aggressive ads and malicious links leading their victims to malware-infested websites.
- Performance-related problems and instability issues. The most of pirated programs cannot be used without performance-related issues. Crashes, slowdowns, and other problems can be expected when using such programs. Also, if a cracked software is badly programmed, system performance-related issues can also be expected.
- No automatic updates. The pirated software does not include any automatic updates that show up from time to time. So, the users of such programs have to continue their visits to illegal websites that offer unlicensed versions of programs when they are out of date. Such visits can put them and their devices to the risk of malware.
Reasons Why You Should Not Use Cracked Software
Aside from the fact that it is a crime to crack and use cracked software without the consent of the owner, there are other dangers of using cracked software which is listed below.
- Malware: Come to think of it why will anyone on earth just wake up one day and decide to crack a software and give it to you for free?Note, Cracking software is not as easy is it seems, it may take hours, days, weeks and sometimes months for even the experienced crackers to crack a software. So the question here is why will anyone just spend months cracking a software just to give it to you for free? Out of the goodness of their heart maybe? Very funny, if I have a good heart why will I crack someone’s hard work in the first place? So it is not out of their good heart. If someone can crack software and give it out then the person wants something more than just cracking a software. Cracked software is a good source of malware so if you want your device to get infected by malware then use cracked software. Looking at the recent trend, Malware hit a lot of people in Nigeria as majority and all over the world. It is a Ransomeware which uses a cracked version of EndNote as its mode of infection.
- Backdoors: If an individual can alter a software’s code which is supposed to be paid for and use it without paying, then he can insert a backdoor. A backdoor in software is a way of accessing the software apart from the one end-users use, it can be used by both legitimate bodies for update or patches and it can also be used by illegitimate bodies. A cracked software has a high chance of containing illegal backdoor which can be used by criminals to gain access to your system. This can compromise your privacy because, with the backdoor they can see whatever is in your device without you knowing it, they can even install additional software on your device and make it (the additional software installed) to be so stealth that you won’t even know about it.
- Trading Your Device For The Price Of The Software: Downloading/Installing cracked software is like establishing an agreement with the crackers. Basically, the crackers are saying ok I will give you this software to use but you will also give me your device to us and you say yes by installing the software. After selling your device by installing the cracked software the crackers can then use your device for whatever purpose such as using it to perform other criminal activities.
The question here is, is it worth it? Is the software worth giving out your device? Is it worth compromising your privacy? What if your personal details such as your credit card details are on the device? Are you willing to sacrifice everything for just software? Think about it, my friends.
If you want to stay safe, then always purchase software from a reliable source, however, the developer of this software usually have a free version which may be of help. Your safety is our concern. Help us make the world a better place by sharing this with as many people as possible to help fight against cybercrimes.
The final thoughts about cracks
Unfortunately, but there are millions of people who use cracks and cracked software. Almost each of them knows that it is illegal to make it and to use it. The biggest problem here is that these users clearly understand that they are collaborating with hackers who create these illegal executable files and promote them on the Internet. However, not all of them know that by downloading malicious executable files on their computers, they can let cyber criminals to connect to them and add or erase needed information. Besides, such criminals can try to install malware on their computers and take over their sensitive information that is kept on the system.
To avoid all possible dangers, security experts recommend NOT TO USE CRACKED SOFTWARE. If you have already downloaded one to your computer, make sure you perform these steps below:
- Uninstall cracked software from your computer;
- Scan your computer with the reliable anti-spyware.
By uninstalling the pirated software, you cannot be sure that your computer is safe. There are lots of suspicious components that can be installed with the crack and cannot be removed manually. Also, malware and other unwanted software can also be installed by its owners without your authorization. The easiest way to make sure that your computer is completely safe is to run a full system scan with the reliable anti-spyware.
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