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how to prevent other programs from decompiling the dfm-file!

Posted on 2004-10-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi, there is many tools on the net that can decompile the dfm-file which is embedded in my program. How can i prevent these tools from decompiling the dfm-file?
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Question by:din345
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by:esoftbg
ID: 12266323
I don't understand: .dfm is just a text file. Into the .dfm file Delphi describes all the VCL components (with all the properties) you drop on the form ....
Compiler makes .dcu files and linker creates .exe file
What is possible to be decompiled is .exe (and may be .dcu ....).
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BlackTigerX earned 70 total points
ID: 12267343
what he is talking about is programs like "DeDe", that can take a Delphi executable and get all the Forms components that were used to write the Delphi program

one solution would be... to NOT use the visual designer!... of course that would defeat the purpose of using Delphi wonderful IDE in the first place
but there are products that convert all of your components in your form, to dinamically generated components, and it would be the same thing
so you would work normally with your program, and when you are ready to deploy it, use the tool to scramble the Delphi code and you're done...

see this link for an example of such product
http://www.billeniumsoft.com/?ctdph
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Assisted Solution

by:Wim ten Brink
Wim ten Brink earned 55 total points
ID: 12272103
There are tools like AsPack and AsProtect (http://www.aspack.com) that will compless your executables and thus make it harder for tools to decompile your projects, but it doesn't make it impossible to decompile them. To be honest, there is absolutely NO way to prevent hackers to view the resources you've hidden in your executable. All you can do is just make things more difficult. Creating forms dynamically in runtime would be a good option but it does require a lot of work to maintain.

The best solution is to not store sensitive data in your DFM files. Store them in a separate file that you can encrypt and perhaps even include in your executable by including it in a *.rc file and add the *.rc file to your project. This way it is still possible for hackers to get the sensitive data but they have to decrypt it too. Since many hackers will first focus their attention to the forms themselves, it does take them a while to crack the system.
And if your EXE is compressed itself too by e.g. AsPack then it becomes even more difficult. Not impossible, though. It can always be cracked. But it will delay the hackers a bit more. Thus, a very experienced hacker would need two days instead of one to crack your code. ;-)
And yes, experienced hackers can crack any system quite fast.
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