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SoftICE paranoia

So I went and downloaded Skype the other day. Eager to see  what all the hype surrounding it is about, I double-click the shortcut the installer put on my desktop only to get a slap in the face in the form of a message box:

"Skype is not  compatible with system debuggers like SoftICE"

Yeah, right. I've seen this kind of message before - it has nothing to do with application compatibility and has everything to do with paranoid code monkeys trying to keep people from single-stepping through their precious program. If you hide SoftICE from their evil anti-ICE scanner, the application runs just fine. Skype does.

The most infuriating thing is the fact that SoftICE wasn't even running when the Skype incident occurred. So now we have programs that blatantly lie in your face and refuse to run if you happen to have another program installed on your computer which they've labeled evil. You're expected to uninstall the debugger or buy another computer just to keep the paranoiaware satisfied.

I say bunk. Just because I have a debugger installed doesn't mean I'm going to reverse engineer the hell out of your holy code.Trying to dictate what apps I can or cannot run on my box strikes me as control freakish and suspicious.  Instead of implementing useless (and they *are* useless) anti-debugging tricks, put down your tin foil hat and go take a walk out in the fresh air.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004


Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Why are you trying to steal the Intellectual Property of other programmers?  Are you some sort of socialist?

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

In another thread somewhere someone is trying to figure out how to prevent his software from being reverse engineered.

This kind of "trick" wouldn't stop crackers for long anyway, as you said, it was possible to hide SoftICE from Skype. It would probably just encourage them anyway.
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Absolutely.  If I had SoftICE installed and got one of these "critical" errors for an application, that would only egg me on to step through their code.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

> Are you some sort of socialist?


Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Unless your business is stepping through other people's code believe me you aren't about to wade through someone else's dung heap for fun.

If you've got Soft-ICE then the likelyhood is its for legitimate purposes.

I sometimes miss my hardware probe that triggers the interrupt though...

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, August 4, 2004

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