+ORC (Old Red Cracker)
Today his identity is still a mystery and many different hypotheses have been made. One rumour is that +ORC was a Professor, expert an Mathematic, cracking against commercialistic trends. Another theory suggests he was simply an exchange student who translated some cracking notes and then posted them on Usenet and around the web.
He used email@example.com as a contact e-mail. The anon.penet.fi domain was an anonymous re-mailer service that shut-down in late 1996. It is unknown which e-mail address was connected to firstname.lastname@example.org. Later +ORC used email@example.com.
Why a plus in front of the ORC name ?
In lesson C.3 +ORC clearly answer this question:
(...) 3) It's even true for your own site denomination (try searching for "Bill's" page instead than for "WIKKY_WAKKY's" page... that's (reversing this approach) one of the reason I have a "+" inside my handle, this confuses the search engines just enough to give me a little more anonymity (search for me! You'll get quite a lot of Warcraft stuff :=). (...)
By analysing the text he wrote, we can assume +ORC was not American but most probably European.
In lesson C.1 we can read
(...) since I do not -fortunately- live in the States. (...)
In lesson 8.2 +ORC wrote
(...) American newspapers (at least the ones you can get here in Europe) are absolute shit... one wonders where the hell do the americans hyde the real information. On the "non-capitalistic" side of information there is a
spanish newspaper "El Pais" that seems to know about what's going on in South America, but it's so full of useless propaganda about irrelevant Spanish politics that it's not really worth reading. The monthly "Le Monde diplomatique" offers something too... this one exaggerates a little on the pauperistic "third world" side, but has a lot of useful information. See what you can do with all this information (or disinformation?) (...)
Despite he is very fluent in English, the used patterns are not those of a native speaker. For examples the word ordering in some sentences or the occasional germanic noun concatenations.
He misspell several words: ciffer instead of cipher, Hunderts instead of hundreds, Tuskany instead of Tuscany, Wodka instead of Vodka, Burocrat instead of Bureaucrat, Februar instead of February.
Some people claim that +ORC was probably dutch or german, but I notices he used also italian words. For example in lesson 1 we can read:
(..) HOW ' grossomodo ', you should proceed in your work (..)
(..) are fully functional - per se -, but have been (..)
Is +ORC from France ? In lesson 4.2 we can read:
AND NOW RUB YOUR HANDS: TO WORK!
And now rub your hands: to work! Fetch your copy of the time limited version of Winproj.exe (you'll find it on the web... many magazines in Europe have published it on their cover CD at the beginning of this year... The one I use here is taken from a second-hand French magazine I found in Basel some time ago: PCMAG n.108) Well how do we proceed?
In lesson 4.2 we can read:
I'm cracking here Microsoft MONEY 97, 90 days trial version I found on the cd-cover of a review called PC-PRO, issue 31, MAY 1997 (but I bought it in transit at Heathrow airport for three pounds at the beginning of April and not in May, as usual in this awful commerce oriented society even minutiae like the dates of the issues of magazines are completely false :=(
He seems not to be Swiss. In lesson 6.1 +ORC wrote
(...) As References I would advocate the works of Lai Xueejia, those swiss guys can crack *everything*. (...)
He uses the words those swiss guys , like if he is nor swiss.
Anyway +ORC is probably able to read german. From lesson 8.2 we learned:
(...) The newspaper of the real enemies, the economic powers that rule this slaves world, are paradoxically most of the time the only ones worth studying... somewhere even the real rulers have to pass each other some bits of real information. The "Neue Zuercher Zeitung", a newspaper of the Swiss industrials from Zuerich, is possibly the best "not_conformist trend analyzer" around that you can easily find (even on the web). These swissuckers do not give a shit for ideology, nor preconcerted petty ideas, the only thing they really want is to sell everywhere their ubiquitous watches and their chocolates... in order to do it, a land like Switzerland, with very high salaries and a good (and expensive) social system, must use something brilliant... they found it: a clear vision of the world... as a consequence this newspaper is very often "against" the trend of all the other medias in the world, the ones that are used only in order to tame the slaves... If the only language you know is english (poor guy) you could try your luck with the weekly "Economist"... you'll have to work a lot with it, (...)
Why is +ORC cracking games?
In lesson 1 +ORC explains why he is using games instead of commercial applications as learn material:
The recent widespread appearance of "Demo"-CDROM on magazine covers is a treasure for all crackers! A short time after their release you 'll get all the copies that remain unsold for next to free. The demos on CD-ROMs will permit you to gather quickly a lot of applications -old and new- that have somehow been crippled (at times with interesting schemes). Truly a wonderful world of cracking possibilities! Gee! For next to no money you can secure on one CDROM the whole of LOTUS applications (or Microsoft or Wordperfect, or you name them) on "trial for 30 days" or "try it 20 times" editions. You'll really enjoy to crack them, to use them for ever and ever and/or graciously donate them on the Web to the poor lamers that have no money and no brain.
GAMES are definitely not to be frowned upon! They are very interesting from a cracker prospective coz they are often "overprotected". With this I mean that they possess protection schemes of a relatively HIGH level hidden inside files that are relatively small. Now, see, it is much more easy, and simple, to track down and eliminate protection schemes inside a single 35.000 bytes long executable file than to locate them inside a collection of many lengthy DLLs and overlaids that could have swollen as long as 2.000.000 bytes each. The lazy bunch of "modern" programmers relies systematically for protection schemes on this "hide the sting in the wide desert" logic. As a matter of fact they are no longer able to program in assembler: they bank more and more on overbloated "fatty" atrocities like Visual Basic, Delphy or Visual C++. (Don't worry... I'll nevertheless teach you how to crack -and quickly- those huge applications too).
There is another reason for employing games instead of applications as study material: often EXACTLY THE SAME protection schemes that you find in a simple (and short) shareware game will be used -without much improving- a little later in order to "protect" some huge and extremely expensive graphic application.
For this reason in my tutorial we'll often crack games protection schemes, even if we'll later apply what we learn mainly in order to crack the protection schemes of commercial applications, or to crack the access protection routines to remote servers, or BBS, or even ATM (cash dispensers).
In the second lesson, +ORC explains why he decided to crack software protections:
Strange as it may seem, the reasons for cracking are very important for the success of our task. We (at least we old crackers) crack AGAINST society, and OPPOSING laws and conventions. We usually DO NOT crack for money or for other "commercial" reasons (just sometimes, and we are expensive: I have plenty of money already and my services are VERY expensive if you need an aimed deprotection). But in general we don't care much for money and -as you can see- I am giving away the basis of what I know for free with this tutorial. The programs we crack should be made free for everybody, even if we spent some of our time deprotecting them. We could not care less of the commercial value of a given program, not to mention the holy work of the ethical programmers... we program ourselves, but only because we LIKE it... if somebody does something only in order to gain money, he does not deserve anything. It's the mind challenge that counts, NEVER the profit! (Even if you can make good use of the cracked programs and even if -as I said- there is at times a personal profit).
This is an indispensable attitude! Only a non-mercantile mind can leap forward to the "satori" knowledge that you desperately need if you want to crack quickly and elegantly huge iperbloated monstruosities that somebody else wrote and protected, or if you want to gain access to some hidden information, data that you would like to snoop but that somebody declared "off limits", coz a stupid government, or useless industry sector, or money oriented programmer or dirty lobby of interest decided it.
If you do accept the society where we are compelled to live, its awfully egoistic way of life and its dirty "profit" values, you may eventually learn how to disable some simple protections, but you'll never be able to crack in the "right" way. You must learn to despise money, governments, televisions, trends, opinion-makers, public opinion, newspapers and all this preposterous, asinine shit if you want to grasp the noble art, coz in order to be emphatic with the code you must be free from all trivial and petty conventions, strange as it may sound. So you better take a good look around you... you'll find plenty of reasons to hate society and act against it, plenty of sparks to crackle programs in the right way... Hope all this did not sound too cretin.
Was +ORC a male or a female ?
We know +ORC was a male. In lesson 9.2 he wrote:
(...) of long tables, me, my wife and my kids exchanging views and opinions with other people (...)
+ORC Martini-Wodka recipe
In every lesson, +ORC mentioned the Martini-Wodka cocktail. In lesson 3.2 we can find the recipe:
Martini-Wodka (Two blocks of ice first, 1/3 dry Martini from Martini & Rossi, 1/3 Moskovskaia Wodka, 1/3 Schweppes indian tonic)
What is the age of +ORC ?
Nobody knows exactly the age of +ORC, but some evidences in the text lessons suggest was relatively "old" when he wrote the lessons.
In lesson 3.1 +OSC wrote:
This very old EGA program is one of the first I cracked in my youth, and it's very interesting coz it employs a very basilar protection scheme (a "PRIMITIVE"! More than 80% of the protection schemes used to day (January 1996) are directly derived from one of the 12 primitives.
In lesson 9.2 we can read:
It's amazing HOW MUCH you can get from internet, and this could make the Web potentially dangerous from a "human-social" point of view... how will we keep social and human contacts if we roam around so much without ever touching each other? A good idea in order to re-establish somehow our "humanity" "contact" balance is to seek physical contact not only with your loved one (which is always very good) but also with many other human beings: I have for instance three massage sessions every week with my masseuse, which is half my age but strong enough to cure my rheumatisms... just to make another example, I enjoy very much all restaurants which have the so called "tables d'hote" i.e. where everybody sits together at a couple of long tables, me, my wife and my kids exchanging views and opinions with other people, people you never saw before and will probably never see again, drinking excellent wines, instead of sitting grimly on the petty, bourgeois, "4 chairs" little tables for stupid greedy families that abound inside "normal" restaurants... (I'll not ever mention the "fast food" abominations: I am definitely in favour of "slow food" and believe McDonald should be hanged for what he has done -in the whole world- to 4000 years of gorgeous gastronomical traditions... what's the point of eating quickly (and badly), unless you are a slave of your time?)... enough: You could crack Win32 applications even using Winice for Windows 3.1 though
Lessons were written around 1996/1997. The "old EGA program" +ORC refers to in lesson 3.1 is "Universal Military Simulator" released by Dr Ezra SIDRAN in 1987. In lesson 9.2 we learned he is married and have childs.
+ORC "how to crack" lessons
Here is the list of all +ORC lesson. Some of them may have been lost forever :(
Lesson 1 An approach to cracking
Lesson 2 Tools and tricks of the trade
Lesson 3.1 Hands on, paper protections (basic)
Lesson 3.2 Hands on, paper protections (advanced)
Lesson 4.1 Time protections in Windows (1) - an introduction
Lesson 4.2 Time protections in Windows (2) - a little Micro$oft bashing
Lesson 4.3 Time protections in Windows, advanced cracking
Lesson 4.4 Quiver protections in Windows
Lesson 5.1 Disks & CD-ROM access (basic)
Lesson 5.2 Disks & CD-ROM access (advanced)
Lesson 6.1 Funny tricks (1)
Lesson 6.2 Funny tricks (2)
Lesson 7 Intuition and luck
Lesson 8.1 How to Crack Windows (1) an approach
Lesson 8.2 How to Crack Windows (2) a deeper approach
Lesson 8.3 How to Crack Windows (3) a first conclusion
Lesson 9.1 How to Crack Windows (1) Hands on
Lesson 9.2 How to Crack Windows (2) Hands on
Lesson 9.3 How to Crack Windows (3) Hands on - Nagscreens Galore
Lesson 9.4 How to Crack Windows (4) Hands on
Lesson A.1 Advanced cracking (1) Internet Cracking (Unix)
Lesson A.2 Advanced cracking (Internet-DOS)
Lesson B.1 Zen cracking (basic)
Lesson B.2 Zen cracking (exercises)
Lesson C.1 Cracking as an art (1)
Lesson C.2 Cracking as an art (2)
Lesson C.3 Cracking as an art (3)
Appendix 1 How to crack all Microsoft programs on the planet
Appendix 2 How to modify Softice & Winice for our purposes
Appendix 3 A good wincracking tool: +ORC's visualcoder, with source code