4AM is a prolific computer historian whose practice involves cracking the copy protection on neglected Apple ][+ floppy disks, producing not just games, but voluminous logs that reveal the secret history of the cat-and-mouse between crackers and publishers.
4AM's logfile for their crack of the 1982 crack of Burger Time (which I played until my fingers bled, but on a Colecovision, I think) reveals some incredible, subtle trickery that played out within the extremely confined headroom of a 5.25" floppy's limited sectors.
In Which We Start From Scratch
We're starting from bare metal on this
one. My automated tools, they do nothing
for us. Strap in.
[S6,D2=crack-in-progress (the partial
copy I made with Locksmith Fast Disk
[S5,D1=my work disk]
; copy boot sector (T00,S00) to the
; graphics page so it survives a reboot
96F8- A0 00 LDY #$00
96FA- B9 00 08 LDA $0800,Y
96FD- 99 00 20 STA $2000,Y
9700- C8 INY
9701- D0 F7 BNE $96FA
; turn off slot 6 drive motor
9703- AD E8 C0 LDA $C0E8
; reboot to my work disk in slot 5
9706- 4C 00 C5 JMP $C500
BurgerTime: A 4am crack, 2015-12-31 [4AM/archive.org]
Apple II Library: The 4am Collection [archive.org]
CSIR-Tech is the commercial arm of the Indian government’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research; after spending ₹50 crore (about USD7.6M) pursuing more than 13,000 “bio-data patents” (patents of no real value save burnishing the credentials of the scientists whose names appear on them), they have run out of money and shut down.
Troy Hunt, proprietor of the essential Have I Been Pwned (previously) sets out the hard lessons learned through years of cataloging the human costs of breaches from companies that overcollected their customers’ data; undersecured it; and then failed to warn their customers that they were at risk.
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