Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Crack and Keygen

computer_keys_pdCrack vs. Keygen

Crack is literally a program that cracks Unix passwords. It is designed specifically for system administrators to have the ability to locate users whose passwords are too weak and vulnerable to attack by hackers using a dictionary hacking system. It is a direct result of the program’s creator, Alec Muffet, wanting to improve upon its predecessor – a ‘pwc’ cracker in COPS. With a simple re-engineering of the program’s memory management, Muffet was able to increase its performance.

Keygen is the abbreviated form of the phrase key generator. It is a small program that generates valid CD keys or serial (registration) numbers for software. These serial numbers are made available to administrators through software cracking groups for free via download on a number of websites that are dedicated to software piracy. It is considered to be quite illegal in countries to activate software without purchasing the genuine code.

Crack was first released as version 2.7a, and was posted to Usenet newsgroups alt.sources and alt.security. Subsequent releases have introduced a plethora of new upgrades, including a programmable dictionary generator, a network distributed password tracking system, and improved code with a great deal more flexibility than its predecessors. Including a dictionary generator that is programmable into the system means that the user is able to apply rules to the traditional dictionary wordlist in order to generate modified versions of the words contained on that list. These rule modifications can be incredibly simple (to the point that the words aren’t actually changed at all), or they can be incredibly complex. These rules can also process GECOS field in the password. As for adding a network distributed password cracking mechanism, this could further allow users to use a network of heterogeneous workstations connected by a shared file system as parts of a password cracking program that’s been widely distributed.

Keygen is used by simply implementing a disassembler to sneak into and study the raw assembly code of the targeted program. This either checks the software or the installer for the code desired. Once the user has gained access to the program’s code, the location and subroutine(s) that are responsible for verifying the validity of a code are easily ascertained. This allows the algorithm to be reverse engineered in order to generate valid keys. The kicker is at times the keys found may not work with online software (including downloaded software updates) – mainly because the user has to confirm the serial number every time the software connects to the server.


1. Crack is a Unix password cracking program; Keygen is a generator program used to ascertain software keys.

2. Crack’s newest permutations have included updates such as a programmable dictionary generator, and a network distributed password tracking system; Keygen works in a simple manner, but may not provide keys that work.

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1 Comment

  1. Muchos Gracias for your article post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

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