[erlang-questions] Re: reverse engineering beam files / obfuscation ?
Mon Feb 15 12:20:09 CET 2010
Sorry, but I can't understand the story.
I understand that you had a secret idea implemented in Quintus, but it
has never been published. Someone else was about to publish the same
idea. They had a copy of Quintus but not the its source. You assumed the
idea was taken from Quintus, thus you precluded them from publishing the
But could you _prove_ somehow that they stole the idea from Quintus or
did you just suspect it? If it was just a suspicion, you'd better not be
so proud of this story.
In addition, review of a paper is normally done by an independent
reviewer, who must handle the paper confidentially. How did you get a
copy of the paper under review?
On Mon, 2010-02-15 at 14:15 +1300, Richard O'Keefe wrote:
> Quintus faced this issue many years ago now.
> There is _nothing_ you can do to stop a sufficiently determined
> cracker. Here's an anecdote.
> (1) The Quintus emulator was shipped as an executable binary with
> (a) most but not all of the C symbols stripped
> (b) many but not all of the atoms used in the Prolog system
> clobbered (things users were _supposed_ to be able to mention
> were preserved, everything else smashed).
> (c) we had a special in-house-ONLY tool for restoring the smashed
> (2) Full *and* demo versions of Quintus Prolog were handed out after the
> purchaser signed a contract saying, amongst other things, that they
> would not disassemble the system.
> (3) One organisation that got a free demo copy of Quintus Prolog was a
> large software company with a Prolog of their own. (Fair enough,
> we had a demo copy of their system at one time.)
> (4) They attempted to publish in a conference a paper detailing
> implementation techniques that were used, to the best of our
> only in Quintus Prolog. Judging from what some of the people
> from that
> company had said previously, they had not then been using these
> techniques themselves.
> (5) We informed the conference, and the paper was not published.
> The need to disassemble MC68020 instructions hadn't stopped them.
> A contract saying they wouldn't reverse engineer hadn't stopped them.
> At least if it's in the contract the crackers will KNOW they are
> doing something wrong, not just difficult.
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