Having a crack at the crackers

crack siteSoftware cracks are a real problem for software vendors large and small. I have discussed in a previous article some of the ways in which developers can try to mitigate their effects. A fellow ASP member (who might wish to remain nameless) has gone a step further by creating a fake crack site serialsgalore.com . It looks quite convincing, but when you try to download a crack it gives you an ominous message about the error of your ways and logs your IP address. I would have gone for a less confrontational message, but it will be interesting to see how effective this approach is.

I think serialsgalore.com is worthy of support by developers. Please consider giving the site some Google juice by linking to it from your site or blog using link words such as crack, keygen and/or serials. If you don’t want to do this on a main page of your site, link to it only from your site map page. Alternatively create a Google site map (a good idea anyway) and only reference the page with the links from there. I believe the site owner is going to try to cover his costs by donations, Google ads and possibly, referral fees. I certainly don’t begrudge him some return on his efforts. I also don’t feel bad about them playing a little trick on someone looking for illegal cracks. It might even save them from downloading malware.

13 thoughts on “Having a crack at the crackers

  1. Jan Hančič

    Cool effort. But now my IP is logged, and that is not good because I am using my company’s computer. I hope that clicking on that “buy …” link removed me as I wasn’t really searching for warez, just checking it out…

  2. BC

    Well, logging someone’s IP address sound ominous, but what can they really do with it? If you’re a government who really wants to track someone down (i.e. can pressure ISPs into passing you the usernames), it can be useful for finding someone, but – as it is – the IP address is not useful for anything other than scaring users.

    Speaking of which, I heard a talk by a guy a while back who placed fake registration codes on various websites. When users plugged in the fake registration codes, it directed them to a special “you’re a pirate” page. (He wasn’t too heavy-handed about it.) On the page, he even had a “confessional” where people could leave comments – and quite a few people did.

  3. Andy Brice Post author

    >the IP address is not useful for anything other than scaring users.

    Maybe that is enough. ;0)

    >he even had a “confessional” where people could leave comments – and quite a few people did.

    I would like to see that. Do you have a URL?

  4. Me

    I changed the wording slightly, so still a scary message–unless you know a bit about computers, then it’s a bit funnier.

    “Your IP Has Been Logged to /dev/nul !”

  5. Pingback: Having a crack at the crackers — Anti spam and Mail Cleaning Software

  6. Lawrence Rodriguez

    Ha ha ha lol, I tried it and found, really it was just a scare, IP address can be cleared out and changed easily, but for stupid crackers don’t know about PC’s can really convince them to buy the stuff not use it for free illegally, great support, but it needs more websites like that to avoid the crack results. Besides cracks can ruin your PC anyway.

  7. Dave Benham

    What would be even funnier (and possibly even more effective) is once an offender visits the site, offer to remove your offending IP address from the database and promise not to contact law enforcement if you buy the software and supply a screen shot of the registered software as proof of purchase. I imagine this though, could run into legal problems. Possible extortion? Still, it would be funny.

    I admit, I tried it, just to see what would happen, so I’ve been logged as a bad guy. Haha. The site is pretty high up on google searches too, so they must get a lot of traffic.

  8. maria

    How about blocking the PC when the software recognizes an illegally shared license key?

    “Buy a legal copy to make your computer work again”.

    Is this legally possible? Anyone ever tried? what is the outcome?


  9. Xi1iC

    My dog likes to lick his balls! Maybe I should make a website to scare him, and other dogs like him, so that they will quit licking their balls. It would be just as beneficial.

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