Privacy and Windows 10 — Unsupported Statement of Microsoft

Only a lazy guy have not commented on Windows 10 privacy “issues” yet. Here’s what Terry Myerson has to say on it in his Microsoft blog to defend his company point: “With Windows 10, information we collect is encrypted in transit to our servers, and then stored in secure facilities.”

Well, look at this video:

As you can see it is possible to decrypt the information sent. If it is easy for a regular user, it must be easy for hackers in general.

Here’s some instruction with walk-through video from winsupersite on Windows 10 privacy settings.


How to block ads in Windows with just Notepad

Ads are annoying on the web. Besides they lower your internet bandwidth and can be particularly offensive for minors. If you share your PC with your kids, I’m sure you will see how helpful my advice is. There are different ways to screen advertising with use of free and paid DNS providers, firewalls, and special software. I propose to use light and effective method of modifying hosts file. It is a manual hack, but if you browse approximately the same list of websites every day, it will not be very tedious to implement. I’ll explain in plain and simple language. This method is not risky and very easy to revert, if for whatever reason something goes wrong. I tried it in Windows 7, 8, and 10 Technical Preview. It does not matter whether you use 32 or 64 bit version, it will work anyway.

1. Get the HOSTS file

First look for the following path in the Windows Explorer:



To be on a safe side, make a backup of this file, save a copy of it in a different folder. This file has no extension ‘naturally’, so don’t worry. So, you can copy it to your Document folder, for instance, and make another copy with extension .bak. Then leave the file hosts.bak intact. And double click the file hosts in this new location. We will edit this file here, and once you are done, you will copy the edited new file back to the target place (C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc) to replace the original file. It is because we cannot edit this file directly in its original place.

When you double click the file, you have to choose which program to use to edit it. Pick NOTEPAD. Then you will see something similar:


Everything except the last line ( localhost) is simply a commented description. You need to extend the list to assign the web addresses you want to block to this IP address For example:

What it does, it tells to the system, if that exact address is requested (e.g. then instead of getting the real IP address from the root server (DNS), it will immediately short cut it to the, which is zero content. It applies to every web browser you can use — Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, you name it.

Mind the syntax though: don’t put http:// or https:// — not needed.

2. How to block the ads.

So, how to hit particular ads you see every time you visit certain websites?


Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 licence reset

cs5.5-30daysSomeone might think it was an attempt to fight unlicensed use of Creative Suite 5.5, when few days ago Adobe had reset licences of pirated copies of its software — Photoshop, Dreamveawer and others. So users may see the dialog screen with the message: “The serial number you used to activate this product has expired. This is your last opportunity to launch the product before it is automatically deactivated. To reactivate, you must provide a new serial number or start a trial on next launch.” Here’s the screenshot below:

adobe cs5.5 reset adobe trial cs5.5

How come people were using that software illegally you may ask? Well, although Adobe has used a seemingly sophisticated activation method, in reality it is sort of bluff, and I fail to understand its reason. Because the workaround is plain silly: get the trial, shortcut some web addresses like “” thru the host file to have instant domain name resolution, and finally use a generated serial number. You are done. I don’t support piracy, but I’m explaining this to show: this should not be that simple! I mean, common Adobe, you have enough resources to make this a serious barrier. Now it is one big hole.



jesterA guy named Jester(th3j35t3r) took down infamous as he claims in Twitter. I fully support this. I’m looking for a screenshot now, but couldn’t find so far.

TANGO DOWN — what does it mean? It is a slang phrase used by the Special Forces when a terrorist has been eliminated in combat. But what is that TANGO anyway? Early radio communication suffered severely from interference, which often could make messages almost impossible to understand. The help came from the idea of inventing a word to confirm each alphabet letter in a way that no words would sound similar. Even with modern straight and clear electronic communication via Skype or email, phonetic alphabet is often helpful. Besides, sometimes it is cool to use it, as for the Jester Joker.

Culture & Entertainment

Art of Underground | Fighting for Fun

In the world of of underground you can find sometimes true pieces of GUI art. You may call them ugly, and indeed they are not ordinary, but they reflect the shining of the hidden world. Let’s keep aside talks about how bad using workarounds for commercial software is. I believe you can only achieve big popularity for a program, if the software is used by those can pay (corporations, citizens of countries with sound economy) and also those who can’t. If that happens, then those who don’t care have to use that software as well, because it becomes the standard. So, then everybody is affected. Based on that I think Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk and other giants are truly interested in piracy in certain limits, because that doubles their popularity. That happened to Windows and Photoshop, and that did not happen to Mac OS X, for instance.

There we have the teams  ZWT, Orion, FFF, CORE, Again, TMG, Digital Insanity, EMBRACE, SSG, ECLiPSE, DAMN. If these names tell you nothing, I can not really help.

The ones with blue background below are ANSI crafted. It is usually a file with *.nfo extension. Very good and free viewer for these files is GetDiz from Outertech software.


Windows 7 — The best, expensive, and free

As I wrote many times, Windows 7 (and Windows Vista before) is incredibly popular software, which is the fact. But I think Microsoft deliberately makes it available for crackers in a very hidden way. By doing this, Microsoft can kill two birds with one shot: people who buy software and the ones who don’t — both run the latest superior operating system — Windows 7. My point — one population will never merge with another one completely, so if you really restrict the illegal use, you will loose the other half. You’re only interested when everybody is using your software, because then there will be no real alternative. Linux? It is a free headache in short. Apple? That is a good example of those who want to exclude the dark side. Pirated Leopard is a very rare animal. Result? Look at their market share. Microsoft makes it in a very wise way: they say they fight piracy and they do, but in reality they leave back door open. So, you could ask: Well, how about that activation stuff and genuine software program? That really works, however the workaround is very simple.


The idea has become possible due to specific OEM activation mechanism (SLP): If the OS can match three things together (OEM information in SLIC table from BIOS + digital certificate (file) + product number), then the activation happens automatically and instantly. The first part is the most tricky one, because it is hardware driven, i.e. depends on PC manufacturer, all the rest can be simply copied, given the System Locked Preinstallation keys are common for one OEM (ASUS could use one product key for many-many computers, for instance). So what hackers did, they introduced a program loader that puts appropriate OEM info into memory before Windows boots.

Here is a very good explanation of the method, ironically called The Official Windows 7 Repository. Let me quote: “Activators, also known as loaders, add a script on the boot partition (Linux Grub boot loader (GRLDR)) which will put OEM information (SLIC 2.1) into memory before Windows starts. This way Windows thinks that the SLIC 2.1 come from the BIOS (which is false). Activators also install a certificate and an OEM SLP key to activate Windows”.

Windows Loader by Daz is the most popular activator which is kept steadily updated (last version is 1.9.2)

Windows Loader by Daz


Inside Vista Loader

Comparison of Vista Loader and 2.1.3  / Post from 2007

I have the latest Vista Loader 2.1.3 (AKA Windows Vista Activator 2008) in my lab. It is supposed to be invulnerable to Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and KB940510. Besides, it makes no boot string flash. I suspect it is exactly the same core element as the VistaLoader v3.0.0.1 by Dasumo. Let’s hack the hack and see what is inside this program, and what makes it invisible.


Overview of Windows Vista Workarounds

/First published in 2007/

With that level of magnitude of popularity which is given for most Microsoft products, it is inevitable for Windows Vista to be cracked. There are two main reasons for that: first — there will be always people who do not want or cannot afford to pay the price, second — there are always people who are doing reverse engineering for fun. These two things are connected. You can call it piracy, but in a way it is no more than a “technical dance.” And as any dance it does not have any particular purpose or goal to achieve. I mean one crack is never enough. You can blame users for using these workarounds, but in my opinion, ultimately it is only a fuel to keep the enormous flame of Windows popularity.


Break Free Your Digital Editions

/ First published in 2008 — Please see 2011 update here /

Decrypt Adobe ADEPT-encrypted PDF files, AKA Digital Editions

I recently bought an Adobe Digital Edition of a decent book titled “Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS4” from Peachpit (if you decide to buy something there, do not forget to register—you will get a good instant discount as a member).

The book is fine, but I hate this DRM stuff as I need to access my books sometimes on a casual machine and that is impossible unless you install Adobe™ Digital Editions and activate it via Adobe’s DRM Activator site (for some reason it is called “Eden”, there is no sign of Eden there at all!). So I decided to find a way to overcome and remove DRM protection from Adobe pdf file, not for sharing this book, but for my convenience.

Digital Editions

After an extended search, I found a way, and everybody can repeat the same sequence. So far, this protection (ADEPT encryption) was considered to be officially unbreakable, but it seems not anymore.