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Capture of USB Dongle traffic?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Orc General, Dec 19, 2005.

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  1. Orc General

    Orc General Guest

    Are there any softwares or tools that will allow you to capture the
    traffic information that comes from and to a USB Dongle (software
    license control)?
  2. cbm5

    cbm5 Guest

    Care to explain exactly why you wish to do this? Please speak clearly
    and look directly into the camera....
  3. Or tools : Yes, a logic analyzer does that for you.
    Not on the message level though. On the bit level.

    Good luck.

  4. Google on: USB analyzer.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  5. John  Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    I'm sure Win Hill would be glad to help you on this project.

    But seriously, most of this stuff has encryption algorithms complex
    enough that no simple traffic analysis is going to help; the
    datastreams are never the same.

  6. That's true- however I would imagine that one attack scheme would be
    to observe the traffic to the dongle in order to identify places to
    patch the executable-- but I'm certainly no expert in the field.

    Of course, that's assuming the OP has some nefarious intent-- perhaps
    s/he has a legitimate need to debug the transactions between a program
    s/he's written and a security dongle s/he's trying to incorporate.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  7. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    If it wasn't nefarious, s/he would know that dongles that you buy, to
    incorporate into your own software creations, come with all the
    necessary software to do the handshake... my oldest son uses Rainbow
    Sentinel stuff.

    ...Jim Thompson
  8. cbm5

    cbm5 Guest

    With a black box, encrypted random handshaking etc I suppose it could be
    possible to determine the algorithm by observing the traffic for a long
    time. Probably a VERY long time, distributed-processing levels of power
    required. Depending on how complex the encryption is, I'd guess that it
    might be easier to etch the lid off the chip in the dongle and extract
    the encryption code for disassembly, or duplicate the dongles. As
    another mentioned, cracks are usually done via software patches
    anyway...the code is already there for disassembly.
  9. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest
    may suit

    Don McKenzie
    E-Mail Contact Page:

    Micro,TTL,USB to 1.5" color LCD
    USB,RS232 or TTL to VGA Monitor
    World's smallest USB 2 TTL Conv
  10. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    I still just can't get over the fact that "dongle" is a real word.

  11. Guest

    Or a legitimate need to run somebody else's software without the dongle.
  12. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    And what "legitimate need" might that be?

    ...Jim Thompson
  13. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Sort of like a legitimate need to use the bank's money without an

  14. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Now that's a "need" ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  15. John Larkin wrote...
    John, will you kindly cut out the behind-my-back at-my-expense
    CRAP, supposed right-wing fun-making, or not? I've paid enough
    in honest Dongle fees *, without any attempts to cheat, to earn
    respect on that account.

    * Over $150k.
  16. John  Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    OK, no sense of humor. OK.

    But "right-wing"? How?

    I might point out that you've said all sorts of disparaging stuff
    about me, some demonstrably untrue [1], and none has ever got me


    [1] Like calling me a Republican (no!) and a conservative (well,
    that's a lot fuzzier, but I'm awfully liberal in the classic sense.)
  17. Guest

    Running very expensive software on a much more expensive, but
    hardware-incompatible computer.

    Or running it somewhere like a classroom where people keep stealing the

    Or running it in more than one location without having to get someone
    to FedEx you the dongle because you left in a hurry.

    Or general distaste for an industry that has managed to convince
    lawmakers (and quite a few of their customers too) that fair use
    doesn't exist; i.e., that we can't be trusted with the choice of
    whether to obey the laws.

    I for one am thankful that there will always be iconoclastic European
    college students who can crack copy protection efforts just as quickly
    as they're developed. There should be an endowment for these kids.
  18. Surely you can do better:

    Vendor gone bust and dongle enforces lame-o-matic 1 year expiry date and/or
    one needs to reload $OLD_PROJECT (which is now hidden away in secret
    proprietary format to "protect the CAD vendors IPR while screwing the
    customers (tm)".
  19. Those letter guys do hire the kids...

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  20. John Larkin wrote...
    I'm sorry and I apologize for my ignorance. Are you a
    Libertarian, then? I assume you're not a Democrat. Or
    are you an Independent (which doesn't say much), like me?
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