24 Mar

MoleBox goes out of business

Molebox as it used to be

A bit of history

MoleBox 2 was released in year 2003 and it was one of the first file virtualization solutions in the market. It bundled executable with the DLL and data files into a single EXE file. At that time that was something new and innovative.

They had quite a success and released another product (MoleBox Ultra, later renamed to MoleBox Virtualization Solution) in year 2009. Apparently it was very hard to fight in the increasingly more competitive market of application virtualization solutions and the last version of MoleBox Virtualization Solution was released in 2013.

Game over

In February 2016 domain molebox.com was sold for $1526. Yesterday their web server started serving generic WordPress page with dating-related spam. And that is just sad. sad
MoleBox dating advice

Release of static unpacker

However, both editions of MoleBox are still very popular with private game server owners, as they allow to bundle patched EXE files together with their custom data files. It's not a bullet-proof security but stops newbies from stealing their valuable data.

Since the MoleBox company is officially out of business now, I have no more reasons to keep my static Molebox unpacker private. It supports most versions of MoleBox 2.x including the external box files.

Have fun guys!

Download link: see October update to Molebox unpacker for an updated version.

P.S. This post was made just because I noticed changes in MoleBox web, I wasn't planning to release the unpacker today. So, please keep in mind this code was written in year 2009 and has had only one small fix applied in 2015. It's likely that you'll encounter some bugs and quirks - please send me the problematic file and I'll fix the bug. smile

P.P.S. I have static unpacker for MoleBox Virtualization Solution as well. But it doesn't have a nice UI yet, so it will be released on a later day.

11 Mar

About .NET, googling and lazy programmers.

Delphi fail. .NET win.

Recently, several people sent me bug reports where my EnigmaVB unpacker failed to extract files. In all cases, the problem was caused by really large files, like 3.5GB in size. So, what's causing the problem?

EnigmaVB unpacker is a 32bit application written in Delphi. And Delphi streams are retarded. They look like they've been written in 1990s and were never updated. TMemoryStream uses a continuous memory range, so it can never support anything larger than 2GB. TFileStream internally uses longint, so it doesn't properly support files larger than 2GB. WTF?

So, I have two choices. I can either make a custom stream class in Delphi, or I can pick another framework and rewrite my tool to use that.

I'm not a programmer, I'm a reverser. I don't want to spend my time developing custom stream classes. I'd very much rather use this time breaking some code. So, say hello to .NET framework - my next version of EnigmaVB unpacker will be made in C#.. smile

Am I a programmer or a googler?

While researching all the Delphi limitations and possible workarounds, I ran into this great article by Scott Hanselman. Reading both the post and the comments made me think a lot.

Does using Google to solve your programming tasks makes you less of a programmer? I don't think so.

In fact, I'm just lazy. Most people are. Why should I spend 30 minutes remembering basic algorithms for converting string to hex, if Google query can solve it in 10 seconds? Why reinvent the wheel and write CRC calculation from scratch? I'll just open StackOverflow and have a solution that's already tried and tested. It doesn't mean I can't do those boring tasks - I just don't want to.

How about you? Would you be able to write some tools without using Google and StackOverflow?