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  1. #1
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    Decompile (VB (any))

    I have an associate that's developed a program in VB that does stock (market) analysis. Another investor wants to buy his program and run it at his place.

    My friend is concerned someone (beyond contracts and etc.) would have the ability to decompile his code and steal it.

    Is this a real possibility?

  2. #2
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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    Not if he distributes it as an executable. At that point, the code has been compiled and no longer exists in its original form. You have to have the VBP file to steal the code.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    So If someone told a less than honest hacker person that they'd give them $50,000 to break that "EXE", they couldn't do it? There is NO way?

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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    That isn't the way anyone would reverse engineer an executable. Frankly, there are only a limited number of ways to do anything with VB/VBA, and a good programmer who understands the math involved can reproduce the funtionality of an application without exactly duplicating the code and without needing to "decompile" it. That's the gist of all the "look and feel" lawsuits of a few years back.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    Thanks for your help!

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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    Amplifying on Charlotte's note ~ there are folks in the world whose hobby it is to crack code, and they get a special thrill cracking code that is 'protected (ha ha)'. The $50K offer might speed up the process, but since you seem to be new at this, know that the program would probably be cracked for free before anyone had a chance to offer money for the job.

    To get an idea of what this sub-industry is all about, google.com on 'warez' and 'crackers' (and 'decss' for cracks of the DVD protection).

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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    Thanks for the help here. You are right, I'm a newbie to code and appreciate the expertise here!
    I was somewhat surprised by the "can't be done" and thought your answer was what I'd hear.
    Would XML allow you to "keep your code" and supply the answers to a user via the web?

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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    "keep your code" translates to this: do not allow any copies out of your sight. That takes care of the physical copies.

    A "knowledgeable user" could show the application interface to a "knowledgeable programmer" and ask How'd they do that? The KP could duplicate most of the application.

    With xml, you are now looking at what are called 'web services', in which the program runs on a server somewhere, is interrogated with data, and provides xml output. You will be keeping the code private in this case too, but a KP could deduce what is happening by flooding the service with various data.

    Finally, consider the idea that MS decides that your market is one they want to 'target'.

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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    If you'd like another 2 cents (or 2 pence in my case):
    If your friend wants to keep his code 100% secure, the only way is to not give the program to anyone and not even give them access to it, which kind of defeats the point.
    If you run it on a server which someone has access to, you can be hacked. If you distribute it, it can be reverse engineered. All you can do is copyright it and sue anyone who breaches that. As Charlotte has pointed out, a good programmer/analyst wouldn't necessarily need the source code to recreate the product. On the other hand, if your pricing is right, it won't be worth anyone's time to try!
    Your friend is no more at risk than anyone who distributes software and indeed probably less so as hackers tend to go for big targets.
    FWIW.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    Anyone with the right tools and knowledge can reverse engineer anything. Take a look
    Kevin <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Kevin_sig.gif alt="Keep the change, ya filthy animal...">
    <img src=/w3timages/blackline.gif width=33% height=2><img src=/w3timages/redline.gif width=33% height=2><img src=/w3timages/blackline.gif width=33% height=2>

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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    In the case being discussed, this program will only ever "push" an answer to a client that this code would provide. Not unlike me sending you an email that says "buy ford stock". Their was no "question" or input from the user, we'll just provide 'answers' at the users request.

    They'll click a box that says "get answer" and we'll send it to them. Thus the XML thought. The "question" is defined by the service they've subcribed to, so their would be no "sent" request of actual data.

    Zis make sense?

    BTW< reading back over my past post I meant no disrespect to Charlotte's comments, I really appreciate this discussion!

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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    IMHO a web-based solution would be the most secure. If the code runs on a server behind a firewall, etc. you'll have little to worry about.
    Kevin <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Kevin_sig.gif alt="Keep the change, ya filthy animal...">
    <img src=/w3timages/blackline.gif width=33% height=2><img src=/w3timages/redline.gif width=33% height=2><img src=/w3timages/blackline.gif width=33% height=2>

  13. #13
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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    I don't take offense easily, so don't worry about that. And moderators get little respect around here anyhow! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> If all your clien'ts program does is provide an answer and they control the code itself so that it never leaves their possession, then the question doesn't really apply.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Decompile (VB (any))

    <hr>And moderators get little respect around here anyhow! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> <hr>
    Hey! Just so you know...
    <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15>
    Thanks for your help!

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