16 Feb

Updated Meltdown and EnigmaVB Unpacker

About Error Messages

Users can't read.

Or maybe they don't want to read. I don't know.

But one thing I know for sure - you must make your tools foolproof. If your tool is showing an error message, make sure even your grandma could understand it. Otherwise you'll be getting lots and lots of invalid bug reports.

For example, this is the error message my EnigmaVB unpacker used to show (as reported by ho3ein at Tuts4You):
enigmavb_error_message

It seemed to be very clear to me. First, tool tells user all the versions of Enigma Virtual Box it supports. Then tool explains that it expects to see a PE section with a name ".enigma2" but it found section with a name ".rsrc" instead. To me it's absolutely clear what happened: this file is not protected with Enigma Virtual Box (or it's hacked).

But you won't believe how many times this gets reported as a bug.

There was a similar problem with Meltdown. It clearly stated which versions of DeepFreeze it supports. Then it printed the detected DeepFreeze version. However, the error message didn't explicitly say "This version of DeepFreeze is not supported", it said "DeviceIoControl failed." It makes perfect sense from developer's point of view, but apparently is very confusing for users.

So, here are improved versions of my tools, fixing the error messages and some other stuff..

Improved EnigmaVB Unpacker

First of all, I fixed the error message. I also added detection and tested compatibility with the latest EnigmaVB v7.40. Hopefully, this will make users happier and less confused. smile
EnigmaVBUnpacker_v034

Improved Meltdown

Meltdown 1.7 fixes confusing error message with DeepFreeze Standard v8.x. Thanks to Alexander for reporting it.

I also took a closer look at DeepFreeze Enterprise versions and found a way to make Meltdown more user friendly. If DeepFreeze Enterprise v7.20+ is detected, Meltdown will get OTP Token automatically and immediately generate correct password.

meltdown17

Download links

Enigma Virtual Box Unpacker: Please get latest version from this post
Meltdown v1.7: https://www.mediafire.com/?b0bamd3t2d6bbkq

10 Feb

How to lose 20% of your readers in one day

I was reading "How WIRED Is Going to Handle Ad Blocking" article and didn't know if I should laugh or cry. Here are some excerpts:

On an average day, more than 20 percent of the traffic to WIRED.com comes from a reader who is blocking our ads. We know that you come to our site primarily to read our content

Translation: we know that more than 20% of our users hate our irrelevant ads covering half the page. Fucking freeloaders, we can't make a penny out of them!

We know that there are many reasons for running an ad blocker, from simply wanting a faster, cleaner browsing experience to concerns about security and tracking software.

Translation: we know that ads can be obnoxious and sometimes distribute malware. Hell, big companies like Forbes distributed malware twice last year. We don't care, as long as we get paid.

So, in the coming weeks, we will restrict access to articles on WIRED.com if you are using an ad blocker. There will be two easy options to access that content.

Translation: WIRED just gave a middle finger to 20% of its users. What a great idea!


EDIT: lots of companies seem to be reacting to WIRED's move in one way or another. For comparison, here's the comment by Stack Overflow advertising managers. Now, that's an attitude that actually makes sense!