Way too easy. By walking through how I can hack your app with only one Terminal shell, I hope to shed some light on how this is most commonly done, and hopefully convince you to protect yourself against me. I'll be ending this article with some tips to prevent this kind of hack. In order to follow along you're going to need a few command line utilities. You're going to need the Xcode tools installed. And, lastly, you're going to need an app to operate on. I chose Exces , a shareware App I wrote a long time ago.
Let's start by making sure we have the two utilities we need: otx and class-dump. I like to use Homebrew as my package manager of choice. Note that I will use command line utilities only, including vim. The first step is to poke into the target app's headers, gentlemanly left intact by the unwitting developer.
What do we have here?! A badly spelt variable and what looks like three methods related to registration. We can now focus our efforts around these symbols. Let's continue poking by disassembling the source code for these methods. Note that Exces is a universal binary, and that we need to ensure we only deal with the active architecture.
In this case, Intel's i Let us find out what verifyLicenseFile: does. This is not straight Objective-C code, but rather assembly-what C compiles into. With this in mind, we can realize that verifyLicenseFile: calls the method verifyPath: and later sets the boolean instance variable registred. We can guess that verifyPath: is probably the method that checks the validity of a license file. We can see from the header that verifyPath: returns an object and thus would be way too complex to patch.
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We need something that deals in booleans. No bite. The breakpoint is not hit on startup. We can assume that there's a good reason why verifyLicenseFile: and verifyPath: are two separate methods. While we could patch verifyLicenseFile: to always set registred to true, verifyLicenseFile: is probably called only to check license files entered by the user. Quit gdb and let's instead search for another piece of code that calls verifyPath:. In the otx dump, find the following in awakeFromNib:.
Since awakeFromNib is executed at launch, we can safely assume that if we override this check, we can fool the app into thinking it's registered. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. Don't show this again. Laptops MacOS Mojave By Matt Elliott. Discuss: MacOS Mojave Firefox Developer Edition Firefox Develop Official Firefox release channel for experimental beta builds.
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