Re: Serial/PW Generation

From: Tseran (
Date: 12/01/02

On Sunday, December 1, 2002, at 03:49  PM, Patrick Dughi wrote:
>         Sounds like you're making software licence certificates.  This
> shouldn't be too hard, the only trick is to make sure that no one else
> can
> make their own.
>         Since it contains at least some known information, decrypting
> won't be very difficult.  If someone gets 2 or 3 of them on the same
> character & race, it probably wouldn't take more than 15 minutes to
> 'decode' your system and forge their own certificate.

Very similar, yes.  However, the setup only gives the person 2 of the 3
pieces of information.  Unless they figure out what number each of the
non-standard races are, they can't get that third piece, there is some
measure of security.  Also these passwords aren't going to be just
passed around.  Basically, I am restricting these races because I dont
want them played unless the person has proven that they are good
role-players and can handle the race.  For example, the vampire race,
while seemingly becoming more common on fantasy MUD's with little
concern to playability balance, have severe limitations and great
powers on my MUD.  Their innate strength and abilities make them
extremely potent, but because they can be killed permanently (They are
one of the few races I have that if you die a certain way with them, it
will also delete the character) they have the potential to be
mishandled by a poor player.  I am not as concerned with characters
getting enough of them to crack the code....I may even have a fourth that I set myself on both the MUD and the codes, so that
it never really is breakable.

>         I'd recommend just storing the information on the player
> structure
> somehow, and making it transferable if that's necessary.  If you
> _need_ to
> have a password system, I'd just store the certificate data in a
> seperate
> file, load it at boot time, and auto-generate passwords which index the
> necessary data (character name, race, expiry).

Unfortunately, with the system I want (having the password entered
during character creation) that isn't strictly possible, since there
will be a new structure made.  And 'linking' player structures together
isn't something I feel an overwhelming desire to implement.  Having a
database of passwords, which would be easier, also could be more
problematic, since I need to go in, edit the file, and then make the
MUD learn the password every time.  If it had a self-validating system
where all I needed to do was generate it and then the MUD verified if
it was valid and then implemented it, would be simpler and give me less

>         Still, it's not like it's a difficult thing.  Just make up an
> encryption method that takes those three values, and spits out a
> string.
> I recommend you make the algorithm you use rely on look-ahead or
> look-behind tricks though; using caesar's cipher (ROT13, etc) is too
> simple and will quickly fall apart.

I actually found some code online talking about this as well as an
article on it.  Hopefully, with some free time coming up, I can sit
down and pour over it, and come up with some ideas.  My only concern is
making the code from being too long.  Last thing I need is a 40 digit
code.  However, that does add an element of security to the whole thing.

>         I've seen some that just XOR their entire file, or use a static
> internal keyword to encrypt and decrypt the data (and some even have
> shell
> scripts that create the intital file on install with the word in
> plaintext!!!)

I have heard about this method a lot in my searches of the subject.
But as of yet, never seen it.  How does it work?  What bits are XOR
with what?  Its been far too long since I have done complex logic
circuits.  ;)
Now with PGP Encryption!  Ask for your public key TODAY!

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