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I need to "hack" into an MS Access program - help!

P: n/a
An odd confession; an odd request; but here's the tale....

My company has a few PC systems which we have used for about 7 years
and not updated - we've "made do", and besides, "if it ain't
broke....." as they say.

Anyway, everything's finally getting replaced by a new set-up, and
there is just one program, an Access program running under Windows 95,
which we want to change for the most minor of amendments (almost
cosmetic). The guy who wrote the program for us died 3 years ago, and
was a one-man band anyway. A software company has offered to re-write
the program in <whatever> for a quite ridiculous sum, and quite
frankly we'd rather stick with the old for the next few years than
give in to that!

I've had programming experience in quite a few things (though not MS
Access), but have been asked if I could - armed with a manual if need
be - do it in-house. However, the program's special code is
password-protected, so I'm on a non-starter........ or am I?

This is SUCH a long shot, but I thought I'd just ask if there was any
way to get at the nitty gritty. No wisecracks please (not unless they
are truly funny and witty!)

Thanks
John

Nov 13 '05 #1
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34 Replies


P: n/a
John, email me to discuss options.
Use the email address spelled out in the signature below.

--
Allen Browne - Microsoft MVP. Perth, Western Australia.
Tips for Access users - http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
Reply to group, rather than allenbrowne at mvps dot org.

"John Harrison" <john.harrison@dontsendmespam> wrote in message
news:40**************@news.virgin.net...
An odd confession; an odd request; but here's the tale....

My company has a few PC systems which we have used for about 7 years
and not updated - we've "made do", and besides, "if it ain't
broke....." as they say.

Anyway, everything's finally getting replaced by a new set-up, and
there is just one program, an Access program running under Windows 95,
which we want to change for the most minor of amendments (almost
cosmetic). The guy who wrote the program for us died 3 years ago, and
was a one-man band anyway. A software company has offered to re-write
the program in <whatever> for a quite ridiculous sum, and quite
frankly we'd rather stick with the old for the next few years than
give in to that!

I've had programming experience in quite a few things (though not MS
Access), but have been asked if I could - armed with a manual if need
be - do it in-house. However, the program's special code is
password-protected, so I'm on a non-starter........ or am I?

This is SUCH a long shot, but I thought I'd just ask if there was any
way to get at the nitty gritty. No wisecracks please (not unless they
are truly funny and witty!)

Thanks
John

Nov 13 '05 #2

P: n/a
If it's made in Access 97 or before, there are FREE utilities on the internet
for breaking the password.

If it's later, there are non-free ways.
Nov 13 '05 #3

P: n/a
dc****@aol.comSPNOAM (DCM Fan) wrote:
If it's made in Access 97 or before, there are FREE utilities on the
internet for breaking the password.


The database password perhaps, but not user-level security.
Nov 13 '05 #4

P: n/a
John,

I can rewrite your program for you for a very reasonable fee (guaranteed not to
be quite a ridiculous sum!!).

Contact me at my email address below.
--
PC Datasheet
Your Resource For Help With Access, Excel And Word Applications
re******@pcdatasheet.com
www.pcdatasheet.com
"John Harrison" <john.harrison@dontsendmespam> wrote in message
news:40**************@news.virgin.net...
An odd confession; an odd request; but here's the tale....

My company has a few PC systems which we have used for about 7 years
and not updated - we've "made do", and besides, "if it ain't
broke....." as they say.

Anyway, everything's finally getting replaced by a new set-up, and
there is just one program, an Access program running under Windows 95,
which we want to change for the most minor of amendments (almost
cosmetic). The guy who wrote the program for us died 3 years ago, and
was a one-man band anyway. A software company has offered to re-write
the program in <whatever> for a quite ridiculous sum, and quite
frankly we'd rather stick with the old for the next few years than
give in to that!

I've had programming experience in quite a few things (though not MS
Access), but have been asked if I could - armed with a manual if need
be - do it in-house. However, the program's special code is
password-protected, so I'm on a non-starter........ or am I?

This is SUCH a long shot, but I thought I'd just ask if there was any
way to get at the nitty gritty. No wisecracks please (not unless they
are truly funny and witty!)

Thanks
John

Nov 13 '05 #5

P: n/a
"Keith Wilby" wrote
The database password perhaps,
but not user-level security.


Actually, Keith, there is a free utility for breaking user/group level
security for Access 97, even if you don't have the workgroup file. It can be
found by diligent searching, so I'm not "giving away any secrets".

There are for-fee utilities for breaking user/group security for later
versions.

Just FYI, I haven't used any of these. I did try out the code posted in this
newsgroup in 1995 for taking advantage of the CopyObject flaw in Access
2.0 -- and it worked very nicely.

Access security can be a pain, but it is breakable, and I advise no one to
rely on it to protect anything worth more than $150 or so. Because if
someone gets their hands on the secured database, they can get the utilities
to break security for about that much.

If you want to protect your VBA code, you can compile to "MDE" or "ADE". I
don't think anyone's got a discompiler available for Access. And, before
someone jumps on me... yes, it would be possible to create one that would
regenerate source, but without the original comments and meaningful names.
It was done for VB4, which used very similar "tokenization" methods. VB5 and
VB6 did a true "compile to machine code", instead.

Most experienced Access developers can quickly recreate most typical
business database applications just by seeing them run, and looking at
what's on the forms, so even if security were "strong", it wouldn't keep
people from doing a an application with similar/identical functionality.

Larry Linson
Nov 13 '05 #6

P: n/a
On Thu, 1 Jul 2004 18:45:42 +0800, "Allen Browne"
<Al*********@SeeSig.Invalid> wrote:

Be a man. Discuss in group.
Or email privately.

-Tom.
John, email me to discuss options.
Use the email address spelled out in the signature below.


Nov 13 '05 #7

P: n/a
On Thu, 01 Jul 2004 16:59:56 GMT, "PC Datasheet" <no****@nospam.spam>
wrote:

Another one? Are we getting desperate, gentlemen?
-Tom.
John,

I can rewrite your program for you for a very reasonable fee (guaranteed not to
be quite a ridiculous sum!!).

Contact me at my email address below.


Nov 13 '05 #8

P: n/a
Tom van Stiphout <no*************@cox.net> wrote in
news:1o********************************@4ax.com:
On Thu, 01 Jul 2004 16:59:56 GMT, "PC Datasheet" <no****@nospam.spam>
wrote:

Another one?


No. It's another eight. PC Datasheet is multiple personalities: Robert,
Rachel, Kristine, Katherine, KayinPA, Melanie, Steve and PC Datasheet.

Then again, who's counting?

--
Lyle
--
use iso date format: yyyy-mm-dd
http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/iso-date
--
The e-mail address isn't, but you could use it to find one.
Nov 13 '05 #9

P: n/a
Hi Tom. Tried emailing you. Privately, of course. :-)

Unmunged your email address, but it bounced with the message:
68.6.19.3 does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 550 This email has been blocked.
The private email read:

<quote>
Your comment in c.d.m.a. was probably a joke?

The original poster provided no unmungable email address, so could not be
emailed directly. I hope you also consider it unethical to provide details
on circumventing security in the public forum. So requesting a private
conversation seemed the best approach.
</quote>

"Tom van Stiphout" <no*************@cox.net> wrote in message
news:7j********************************@4ax.com...
On Thu, 1 Jul 2004 18:45:42 +0800, "Allen Browne"
<Al*********@SeeSig.Invalid> wrote:

Be a man. Discuss in group.
Or email privately.

-Tom.
John, email me to discuss options.
Use the email address spelled out in the signature below.

Nov 13 '05 #10

P: n/a

"Lyle Fairfield" <Lo******@FFDBA.Com> wrote in message
news:Xn*******************@130.133.1.4...
No. It's another eight. PC Datasheet is multiple personalities: Robert,
Rachel, Kristine, Katherine, KayinPA, Melanie, Steve and PC Datasheet.


You forgot "Larry" and "Tony."
Nov 13 '05 #11

P: n/a
On Fri, 2 Jul 2004 11:27:41 +0800, "Allen Browne"
<Al*********@SeeSig.Invalid> wrote:

Hmmm, unsure why my unmunged email address would not work for you. It
seems to work fine for me. You munged the first two parts, right?

I had not realized that the OP's email address was unmungable. Sorry
about that. To the point, I have no problem pointing out things in
this ng that a Google search could as well, similar to Larry's post in
this thread.
For the sake of discussion, assuming you had found additional
unpublished security holes, I would probably come down on the side of
not publishing that in this ng. And I would probably also not offer
services based on that to potential clients over the internet, since
it would be near impossible to ascertain whether they were legit or
just trying to open the safe they had stolen.

-Tom.
Hi Tom. Tried emailing you. Privately, of course. :-)

Unmunged your email address, but it bounced with the message:
68.6.19.3 does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 550 This email has been blocked.
The private email read:

<quote>
Your comment in c.d.m.a. was probably a joke?

The original poster provided no unmungable email address, so could not be
emailed directly. I hope you also consider it unethical to provide details
on circumventing security in the public forum. So requesting a private
conversation seemed the best approach.
</quote>

"Tom van Stiphout" <no*************@cox.net> wrote in message
news:7j********************************@4ax.com.. .
On Thu, 1 Jul 2004 18:45:42 +0800, "Allen Browne"
<Al*********@SeeSig.Invalid> wrote:

Be a man. Discuss in group.
Or email privately.

-Tom.
>John, email me to discuss options.
>Use the email address spelled out in the signature below.


Nov 13 '05 #12

P: n/a

"John Harrison" <john.harrison@dontsendmespam> wrote in message
news:40**************@news.virgin.net...
An odd confession; an odd request; but here's the tale....

My company has a few PC systems which we have used for about 7 years
and not updated - we've "made do", and besides, "if it ain't
broke....." as they say.


<PATHETIC STORY DELETED>

Visit Tony Toews' Web site. Back in 1997 Tony suffered a head injury and
has been unable to open any of his databases since then. He's spent the
last seven years trying. That's all he does. You might find some of his
research interesting.
Nov 13 '05 #13

P: n/a
"PC Datasheet" <no****@nospam.spam> wrote in message
news:gq*******************@newsread3.news.atl.eart hlink.net...
John,

I can rewrite your program for you for a very reasonable fee (guaranteed not to be quite a ridiculous sum!!).

RTFFAQ
Nov 13 '05 #14

P: n/a
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote:
The database password perhaps, but not user-level security.


Actually, Keith, there is a free utility for breaking user/group level
security for Access 97, even if you don't have the workgroup file.


I stand corrected. Thanks for the info Larry.
Nov 13 '05 #15

P: n/a
On Thu, 1 Jul 2004 22:22:45 -0600, "XMVP" <ac***********@hotmail.com>
wrote:
<PATHETIC STORY DELETED>


Have you ever stopped to think how pathetic YOUR posts look? I asked a
genuine question, and anyone who read it could either (a) ignore it,
or (b) offer a helpful solution. But no, once again an American
chooses option (c), namely "I don't know the answer. I don't have
enough self-control to pass the topic by. I've got to assert my
superiority on every stranger I can. I know - I'll make a rude comment
instead!" Newgroups are littered with Americans trying to be
smartarses, all in an attempt to hide their lack of knowledge and any
charitable side to their nature.

Is it any wonder why some people have such a downer on Americans? If
you want "pathetic", just remember 9/11 and the fact that another
country (for all its faults) got the better of you, and that even
after all this time, a certain leader has STILL eluded you! All those
soldiers and resources - pathetic! Do the job properly or not at all!
As the jive takin' dudes in your country say...... "America, you ain't
all that!"
Nov 13 '05 #16

P: n/a
rkc

"John Harrison" <john.harrison@dontsendmespam> wrote in message
news:40**************@news.virgin.net...
Is it any wonder why some people have such a downer on Americans? If
you want "pathetic", just remember 9/11 and the fact that another
country (for all its faults) got the better of you, and that even
after all this time, a certain leader has STILL eluded you! All those
soldiers and resources - pathetic! Do the job properly or not at all!
As the jive takin' dudes in your country say...... "America, you ain't
all that!"


XMVP is insane. It doesn't have anything to do with his
nationality. He's fucking bonkers.

You, on the other hand seem genuinely hateful towards the
entire population of a country. What's up with that?


Nov 13 '05 #17

P: n/a
"Keith Wilby" <ke*********@AwayWithYerCrap.com> wrote in message
news:Xn************************@10.15.188.42...
dc****@aol.comSPNOAM (DCM Fan) wrote:
If it's made in Access 97 or before, there are FREE utilities on the
internet for breaking the password.


The database password perhaps, but not user-level security.


But the paid for ones are so trivially cheap that they might as well be
free.
Nov 13 '05 #18

P: n/a
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote in message
news:yU******************@nwrddc01.gnilink.net...
"Keith Wilby" wrote If you want to protect your VBA code, you can compile to "MDE" or "ADE". I
don't think anyone's got a discompiler available for Access. And, before
someone jumps on me... yes, it would be possible to create one that would
regenerate source, but without the original comments and meaningful names.
It was done for VB4, which used very similar "tokenization" methods. VB5 and VB6 did a true "compile to machine code", instead.


So do you mean that an MDE _can_ be decompiled? I'm not quite clear what you
are saying there. And would that also apply to an encrypted and compiled
MDE? A security method I employ relies on an encrypted, compiled MDE not
being amenable to decompiling.

Yours, Mike MacSween
Nov 13 '05 #19

P: n/a
"John Harrison" <john.harrison@dontsendmespam> wrote in message
news:40**************@news.virgin.net...
On Thu, 1 Jul 2004 22:22:45 -0600, "XMVP" <ac***********@hotmail.com>
wrote:
<PATHETIC STORY DELETED>


Have you ever stopped to think how pathetic YOUR posts look? I asked a
genuine question, and anyone who read it could either (a) ignore it,
or (b) offer a helpful solution. But no, once again an American
chooses option (c), namely "I don't know the answer. I don't have
enough self-control to pass the topic by. I've got to assert my
superiority on every stranger I can. I know - I'll make a rude comment
instead!" Newgroups are littered with Americans trying to be
smartarses, all in an attempt to hide their lack of knowledge and any
charitable side to their nature.

Is it any wonder why some people have such a downer on Americans? If
you want "pathetic", just remember 9/11 and the fact that another
country (for all its faults) got the better of you, and that even
after all this time, a certain leader has STILL eluded you! All those
soldiers and resources - pathetic! Do the job properly or not at all!
As the jive takin' dudes in your country say...... "America, you ain't
all that!"


Wow! That'll really get everybody on your side John! Don't worry about XMVP,
he's actually a sad pathetic wanker called Don P. Mellon. He lives up in
Ennis, Montana, which I gather is the USA's equivalent of the arse end of
nowhere. So he may not even qualify as a member of the human race, never
mind an American.

You've probably got it sorted by now. If not email me and I'll tell you
exactly what program to buy to do what you want, or even what google search
words to enter to find it yourself.

Cheers, Mike
Nov 13 '05 #20

P: n/a
"Mike MacSween" <mi******************@btinternet.com> wrote:
So do you mean that an MDE _can_ be decompiled? I'm not quite clear what you
are saying there. And would that also apply to an encrypted and compiled
MDE? A security method I employ relies on an encrypted, compiled MDE not
being amenable to decompiling.


Somewhere in the past year or so I came across a website which had a utility which
could extract the controls and such from an MDEs forms and reports. Not the code
though. Trouble is I've lost track of the URL.

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
read the entire thread of messages.
Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Nov 13 '05 #21

P: n/a

"John Harrison" <john.harrison@dontsendmespam> wrote in message
news:40**************@news.virgin.net...
On Thu, 1 Jul 2004 22:22:45 -0600, "XMVP" <ac***********@hotmail.com>
wrote:
<PATHETIC STORY DELETED>
Have you ever stopped to think how pathetic YOUR posts look? I asked a
genuine question, and anyone who read it could either (a) ignore it,
or (b) offer a helpful solution. But no, once again an American
chooses option (c), namely "I don't know the answer. I don't have
enough self-control to pass the topic by. I've got to assert my
superiority on every stranger I can. I know - I'll make a rude comment
instead!" Newgroups are littered with Americans trying to be
smartarses, all in an attempt to hide their lack of knowledge and any
charitable side to their nature.


That's why I sent you to Tony's Web site. He's a Canadian like you.

Is it any wonder why some people have such a downer on Americans? If
you want "pathetic", just remember 9/11 and the fact that another
country (for all its faults) got the better of you, and that even
after all this time, a certain leader has STILL eluded you! All those
soldiers and resources - pathetic! Do the job properly or not at all!
As the jive takin' dudes in your country say...... "America, you ain't
all that!"


Did someone recently force you to wear women's panties on your head?


Nov 13 '05 #22

P: n/a
Mike, for VB4, there was a "discompiler" that would regenerate VB code from
a "compiled" version, which was not compiled to machine code as in VB5 and
VB6, but "tokenized" in similar fashion to compiled Acces. Yes, it _could_
be done. As far as I know, no one has found it _worthwhile_ to do so.

Just for the record, the regenerated VBA source code would not be nearly as
useful as the original, because the comments would be gone and meaningful
labels and variable names would be replaced with arbitrary, generated ones.
And, the code itself might not even be identical, but would work the same.

And, Access encryption is such that it only protects from someone poking
around with a disk editor/zapper. There's no key... anyone with Access can
open an encrypted Access database. Assuming the "discompiler" ran inside
Access (as it could well, but wouldn't necessarily) Access would
conveniently have decrypted the code.

You're probably safe, as the security break stuff I have heard about does
not include a "decompiler". But, no security scheme is failproof. The
security 'phreaks' have some amazing code to intercept communication between
parts of programs, password-checking, etc.

Sorry if I'm the bearer of bad news... don't shoot the messenger.

Larry
"Mike MacSween" <mi******************@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:40***********************@news.aaisp.net.uk.. .
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote in message
news:yU******************@nwrddc01.gnilink.net...
"Keith Wilby" wrote
If you want to protect your VBA code, you can compile to "MDE" or "ADE". I don't think anyone's got a discompiler available for Access. And, before
someone jumps on me... yes, it would be possible to create one that would regenerate source, but without the original comments and meaningful names. It was done for VB4, which used very similar "tokenization" methods. VB5

and
VB6 did a true "compile to machine code", instead.


So do you mean that an MDE _can_ be decompiled? I'm not quite clear what

you are saying there. And would that also apply to an encrypted and compiled
MDE? A security method I employ relies on an encrypted, compiled MDE not
being amenable to decompiling.

Yours, Mike MacSween

Nov 13 '05 #23

P: n/a
It is vaguely possible, but is also highly improbable. As far as I know, no
one has ever succeeded in doing so, though I know of two attempts to prove
it was possible (both in response to a specific challenge -- one attempt
failed and the other succceeded, but the operator stopped as soon as he had
proved that it was at all possible yet prior to actually completing the
task).

Mike, no worries here. The odds of having a VBA-coded algorithm that is so
sophisticated that the comment-free, poorly named private varible version
would allow someone to profit from the deompiling is so slim as to defy
reason, and the odds of someone being that skilled yet unablw to write the
routine without the assistance of your code borders to the pathologically
impossible.

Shot form -- your code really ought to be safe enough. :-)
--
MichKa [MS]
NLS Collation/Locale/Keyboard Development
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
Windows International Division

This posting is provided "AS IS" with
no warranties, and confers no rights.

"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote in message
news:9w*****************@nwrddc02.gnilink.net...
Mike, for VB4, there was a "discompiler" that would regenerate VB code from a "compiled" version, which was not compiled to machine code as in VB5 and
VB6, but "tokenized" in similar fashion to compiled Acces. Yes, it _could_
be done. As far as I know, no one has found it _worthwhile_ to do so.

Just for the record, the regenerated VBA source code would not be nearly as useful as the original, because the comments would be gone and meaningful
labels and variable names would be replaced with arbitrary, generated ones. And, the code itself might not even be identical, but would work the same.

And, Access encryption is such that it only protects from someone poking
around with a disk editor/zapper. There's no key... anyone with Access can
open an encrypted Access database. Assuming the "discompiler" ran inside
Access (as it could well, but wouldn't necessarily) Access would
conveniently have decrypted the code.

You're probably safe, as the security break stuff I have heard about does
not include a "decompiler". But, no security scheme is failproof. The
security 'phreaks' have some amazing code to intercept communication between parts of programs, password-checking, etc.

Sorry if I'm the bearer of bad news... don't shoot the messenger.

Larry
"Mike MacSween" <mi******************@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:40***********************@news.aaisp.net.uk.. .
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote in message
news:yU******************@nwrddc01.gnilink.net...
"Keith Wilby" wrote
If you want to protect your VBA code, you can compile to "MDE" or "ADE". I
don't think anyone's got a discompiler available for Access. And,
before someone jumps on me... yes, it would be possible to create one that would regenerate source, but without the original comments and meaningful names. It was done for VB4, which used very similar "tokenization" methods.

VB5 and
VB6 did a true "compile to machine code", instead.


So do you mean that an MDE _can_ be decompiled? I'm not quite clear what

you
are saying there. And would that also apply to an encrypted and compiled
MDE? A security method I employ relies on an encrypted, compiled MDE not
being amenable to decompiling.

Yours, Mike MacSween


Nov 13 '05 #24

P: n/a
Thank Michael

Many of us have joined in fairly long 'how secure is Access' type
discussions. My method prevents casual copying of the application (but not
the data, that belongs to the customer) and as you seem to be confirming
anybody with enough skill/experience to reverse engineer my application
would be better off writing it again from scratch, especially seeing as
they'll have access to the table structures.

My approach is just that I don't want an Tom Dick or Harriet passing copies
of my application about.

Yours, Mike

"Michael (michka) Kaplan [MS]" <mi*****@online.microsoft.com> wrote in
message news:40********@news.microsoft.com...
It is vaguely possible, but is also highly improbable. As far as I know, no one has ever succeeded in doing so, though I know of two attempts to prove
it was possible (both in response to a specific challenge -- one attempt
failed and the other succceeded, but the operator stopped as soon as he had proved that it was at all possible yet prior to actually completing the
task).

Mike, no worries here. The odds of having a VBA-coded algorithm that is so
sophisticated that the comment-free, poorly named private varible version
would allow someone to profit from the deompiling is so slim as to defy
reason, and the odds of someone being that skilled yet unablw to write the
routine without the assistance of your code borders to the pathologically
impossible.

Shot form -- your code really ought to be safe enough. :-)
--
MichKa [MS]
NLS Collation/Locale/Keyboard Development
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
Windows International Division

This posting is provided "AS IS" with
no warranties, and confers no rights.

"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote in message
news:9w*****************@nwrddc02.gnilink.net...
Mike, for VB4, there was a "discompiler" that would regenerate VB code

from
a "compiled" version, which was not compiled to machine code as in VB5 and
VB6, but "tokenized" in similar fashion to compiled Acces. Yes, it _could_ be done. As far as I know, no one has found it _worthwhile_ to do so.

Just for the record, the regenerated VBA source code would not be nearly

as
useful as the original, because the comments would be gone and meaningful labels and variable names would be replaced with arbitrary, generated

ones.
And, the code itself might not even be identical, but would work the same.
And, Access encryption is such that it only protects from someone poking
around with a disk editor/zapper. There's no key... anyone with Access can open an encrypted Access database. Assuming the "discompiler" ran inside
Access (as it could well, but wouldn't necessarily) Access would
conveniently have decrypted the code.

You're probably safe, as the security break stuff I have heard about does not include a "decompiler". But, no security scheme is failproof. The
security 'phreaks' have some amazing code to intercept communication

between
parts of programs, password-checking, etc.

Sorry if I'm the bearer of bad news... don't shoot the messenger.

Larry
"Mike MacSween" <mi******************@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:40***********************@news.aaisp.net.uk.. .
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote in message
news:yU******************@nwrddc01.gnilink.net...
> "Keith Wilby" wrote

> If you want to protect your VBA code, you can compile to "MDE" or "ADE".
I
> don't think anyone's got a discompiler available for Access. And,

before > someone jumps on me... yes, it would be possible to create one that

would
> regenerate source, but without the original comments and meaningful

names.
> It was done for VB4, which used very similar "tokenization" methods. VB5 and
> VB6 did a true "compile to machine code", instead.

So do you mean that an MDE _can_ be decompiled? I'm not quite clear what you
are saying there. And would that also apply to an encrypted and

compiled MDE? A security method I employ relies on an encrypted, compiled MDE not being amenable to decompiling.

Yours, Mike MacSween



Nov 13 '05 #25

P: n/a
Were the efforts you describe for VBA, or for VB?

I was under the impression that "DoDi" (for Doctor Dietrich, sp?, from
somewhere in Germany) had a discompiler for VB4, called "vbdis" that was
more-or-less complete. There were occasional discussions of it in
comp.lang.basic.visual.misc a long time ago (but should be Google-able).
Seems to me he had an aol e-mail "vbdis" for inquiries about it -- but that
is probably long since cancelled.

I know everyone pointed out that the regenerated source would not be very
useful.

Larry Linson

"Michael (michka) Kaplan [MS]" <mi*****@online.microsoft.com> wrote in
message news:40********@news.microsoft.com...
It is vaguely possible, but is also highly improbable. As far as I know, no one has ever succeeded in doing so, though I know of two attempts to prove
it was possible (both in response to a specific challenge -- one attempt
failed and the other succceeded, but the operator stopped as soon as he had proved that it was at all possible yet prior to actually completing the
task).

Mike, no worries here. The odds of having a VBA-coded algorithm that is so
sophisticated that the comment-free, poorly named private varible version
would allow someone to profit from the deompiling is so slim as to defy
reason, and the odds of someone being that skilled yet unablw to write the
routine without the assistance of your code borders to the pathologically
impossible.

Shot form -- your code really ought to be safe enough. :-)
--
MichKa [MS]
NLS Collation/Locale/Keyboard Development
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
Windows International Division

This posting is provided "AS IS" with
no warranties, and confers no rights.

"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote in message
news:9w*****************@nwrddc02.gnilink.net...
Mike, for VB4, there was a "discompiler" that would regenerate VB code

from
a "compiled" version, which was not compiled to machine code as in VB5 and
VB6, but "tokenized" in similar fashion to compiled Acces. Yes, it _could_ be done. As far as I know, no one has found it _worthwhile_ to do so.

Just for the record, the regenerated VBA source code would not be nearly

as
useful as the original, because the comments would be gone and meaningful labels and variable names would be replaced with arbitrary, generated

ones.
And, the code itself might not even be identical, but would work the same.
And, Access encryption is such that it only protects from someone poking
around with a disk editor/zapper. There's no key... anyone with Access can open an encrypted Access database. Assuming the "discompiler" ran inside
Access (as it could well, but wouldn't necessarily) Access would
conveniently have decrypted the code.

You're probably safe, as the security break stuff I have heard about does not include a "decompiler". But, no security scheme is failproof. The
security 'phreaks' have some amazing code to intercept communication

between
parts of programs, password-checking, etc.

Sorry if I'm the bearer of bad news... don't shoot the messenger.

Larry
"Mike MacSween" <mi******************@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:40***********************@news.aaisp.net.uk.. .
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote in message
news:yU******************@nwrddc01.gnilink.net...
> "Keith Wilby" wrote

> If you want to protect your VBA code, you can compile to "MDE" or "ADE".
I
> don't think anyone's got a discompiler available for Access. And,

before > someone jumps on me... yes, it would be possible to create one that

would
> regenerate source, but without the original comments and meaningful

names.
> It was done for VB4, which used very similar "tokenization" methods. VB5 and
> VB6 did a true "compile to machine code", instead.

So do you mean that an MDE _can_ be decompiled? I'm not quite clear what you
are saying there. And would that also apply to an encrypted and

compiled MDE? A security method I employ relies on an encrypted, compiled MDE not being amenable to decompiling.

Yours, Mike MacSween



Nov 13 '05 #26

P: n/a
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote...
Were the efforts you describe for VBA, or for VB?
It was VBA.
I was under the impression that "DoDi" (for Doctor Dietrich, sp?, from
somewhere in Germany) had a discompiler for VB4, called "vbdis" that was
more-or-less complete. There were occasional discussions of it in
comp.lang.basic.visual.misc a long time ago (but should be Google-able).
Seems to me he had an aol e-mail "vbdis" for inquiries about it -- but that is probably long since cancelled.
Ironically, that part of the work was only one piece of the puzzle -- the
reading out of the VBA project information added a whole new wrinkle to the
problem....
I know everyone pointed out that the regenerated source would not be very
useful.


Yes, and when looking at Access VBA it is amazing how often one is simply
protecting code taken out of Access books like ADH!
--
MichKa [MS]
NLS Collation/Locale/Keyboard Development
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
Windows International Division

This posting is provided "AS IS" with
no warranties, and confers no rights.
Nov 13 '05 #27

P: n/a
rkc

"Michael (michka) Kaplan [MS]" <mi*****@online.microsoft.com> wrote in
message news:40********@news.microsoft.com...
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> wrote...
Were the efforts you describe for VBA, or for VB?
It was VBA.
I was under the impression that "DoDi" (for Doctor Dietrich, sp?, from
somewhere in Germany) had a discompiler for VB4, called "vbdis" that was
more-or-less complete. There were occasional discussions of it in
comp.lang.basic.visual.misc a long time ago (but should be Google-able).
Seems to me he had an aol e-mail "vbdis" for inquiries about it -- but

that
is probably long since cancelled.


Ironically, that part of the work was only one piece of the puzzle -- the
reading out of the VBA project information added a whole new wrinkle to

the problem....
I know everyone pointed out that the regenerated source would not be very useful.


Yes, and when looking at Access VBA it is amazing how often one is simply
protecting code taken out of Access books like ADH!


The top two reasons to hide code.
1) It's not your own.
2) It is your own, but it's so crappy you don't want anyone to see it.


Nov 13 '05 #28

P: n/a
"rkc" <rk*@yabba.dabba.do.rochester.rr.bomb> wrote...
The top two reasons to hide code.
1) It's not your own.
2) It is your own, but it's so crappy you don't want anyone to see it.


For me, there is a third item that is more prevelant than either of these:

0) The comments in your code would get you in a lot of trouble if ever made
public

:-)
--
MichKa [MS]
NLS Collation/Locale/Keyboard Development
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
Windows International Division

This posting is provided "AS IS" with
no warranties, and confers no rights.
Nov 13 '05 #29

P: n/a
LOL!

michka replied:
The top two reasons to hide code.
1) It's not your own.
2) It is your own, but it's so crappy you don't want anyone to see it.


0) The comments in your code would get you in a lot of trouble if ever
made public.

Nov 13 '05 #30

P: n/a
Michka,
Is there a way to compile muttered comments so they become humanly
inaudible, that's what I'd like to know.
--
Terry Kreft
MVP Microsoft Access
"Michael (michka) Kaplan [MS]" <mi*****@online.microsoft.com> wrote in
message news:40********@news.microsoft.com...
"rkc" <rk*@yabba.dabba.do.rochester.rr.bomb> wrote...
The top two reasons to hide code.
1) It's not your own.
2) It is your own, but it's so crappy you don't want anyone to see it.
For me, there is a third item that is more prevelant than either of these:

0) The comments in your code would get you in a lot of trouble if ever

made public

:-)
--
MichKa [MS]
NLS Collation/Locale/Keyboard Development
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
Windows International Division

This posting is provided "AS IS" with
no warranties, and confers no rights.

Nov 13 '05 #31

P: n/a
"rkc" <rk*@yabba.dabba.do.rochester.rr.bomb> wrote in message
news:UX******************@twister.nyroc.rr.com...
The top two reasons to hide code.
1) It's not your own.
2) It is your own, but it's so crappy you don't want anyone to see it.


Perhaps in your case <g> (you asked for that Rick!!).

I used to use JetPilot, an Access to Palm synching tool. I think the author
there was just protecting his work.

When I protect code it's to prevent unauthorised, casual copying of the
application.

Though some of the code isn't my own, and some of it is crappy too!

Mike

Nov 13 '05 #32

P: n/a
rkc

"Mike MacSween" <mi******************@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:40***********************@news.aaisp.net.uk.. .
"rkc" <rk*@yabba.dabba.do.rochester.rr.bomb> wrote in message
news:UX******************@twister.nyroc.rr.com...
The top two reasons to hide code.
1) It's not your own.
2) It is your own, but it's so crappy you don't want anyone to see it.


Perhaps in your case <g> (you asked for that Rick!!).


Touche.
Nov 13 '05 #33

P: n/a
Terry,
If you find a way to do this, you could become the world's most
successful marriage guidance counsellor.
<g, d & r>
Doug

Terry Kreft wrote:
Michka,
Is there a way to compile muttered comments so they become humanly
inaudible, that's what I'd like to know.
--
Terry Kreft
MVP Microsoft Access
"Michael (michka) Kaplan [MS]" <mi*****@online.microsoft.com> wrote in
message news:40********@news.microsoft.com...
"rkc" <rk*@yabba.dabba.do.rochester.rr.bomb> wrote...

The top two reasons to hide code.
1) It's not your own.
2) It is your own, but it's so crappy you don't want anyone to see it.


For me, there is a third item that is more prevelant than either of these:

0) The comments in your code would get you in a lot of trouble if ever


made
public

:-)
--
MichKa [MS]
NLS Collation/Locale/Keyboard Development
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
Windows International Division

This posting is provided "AS IS" with
no warranties, and confers no rights.



Nov 13 '05 #34

P: n/a
Michael (michka) Kaplan [MS] wrote:
"rkc" <rk*@yabba.dabba.do.rochester.rr.bomb> wrote...

The top two reasons to hide code.
1) It's not your own.
2) It is your own, but it's so crappy you don't want anyone to see it.

For me, there is a third item that is more prevelant than either of these:

0) The comments in your code would get you in a lot of trouble if ever made
public

:-)


<grin>
Been there...
"8-)

Nov 13 '05 #35

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