First of all, let me stress the importance of cracking in our everyday life. Cracking it's not just about software, it's about information, about all patterns of life. To crack is to refuse to be controlled and used by others, to crack is to be free. But you must also be yourself free from petty conventions in order to crack properly.

You must learn to discerne cracking possibilities all around yourself, and believe me, the development of this ghastly society brings every day new codes, protections and concealing mechanismes.

All around us grows a world of codes and secret and not so secret patterns. Codes that are at times so familiar and common that we do not even notice them any more… and yet they are there to fool us, and yet they offer marvellous cracking possibilities.

Let's take as an striking example BARCODES… those little lines that you see on any book you buy, on any bottle you get, on any item around you… do you know how they work? If you do not you may be excused, but you cannot be excused if you never had the impulse to understand them… crackers are curious by nature… heirs of an almost extinct race of researchers that has nothing in common with the television slaves and the publicity and trend zombies around us. Cracker should always be capable of going beyond the obvious, seek knowledge where others do not see and do not venture.


Let's begin with a little history. Universal Product Code (UPC) was adopted for commercial use by the grocery industry in the USA. Among the advantages were a rapid, accurate and reliable way of entering stock information into a computer and the possibility to sack a lot of workers and to do more profit. The early success led to the development of the European Article Numbering System (EAN), a symbology similar to UPC, that is widely used in Europe and in the rest of the World. I'll teach you to crack this one, since I do not -fortunately- live in the States. Keep in mind, anyway, that there are different barcode symbologies, each with its own particular pattern of bars. The UPC/EAN code used on retail products is an all-numeric code; so is the Interleaved 2 of 5 Code. Code 39 includes upper case letters, digits, and a few symbols. Code 128 includes every printable and unprintable ASCII character code. The most new one is a 2-D code. These are special rectangular codes, called stacked barcodes or matrix codes. They can store considerably more information than a standard barcode. They require special readers which cost more than a standard scanner. The practical limit for a standard barcode depends on a number of factors, but 20 to 25 characters is an approximate maximum. For applications that need more data, matrix codes are used. For example, the next time you receive a package from United Parcel Service look for a small square label with a pattern of dots and a small bullseye in the centre. This is a MaxiCode label, and it is used by UPS for automatic destination sortition.

The manufacturer's ID number on the barcode uniquely identifies products. These numbers are managed by the Uniform Code Council in Dayton, Ohio for the States and Canada and by the EAN authority (Internationale Article Numbering Association) in Bruxelles, for Europe and the rest of the World. The manufacturer's ID number accounts for some digits of the code, which leaves other digits to be assigned in any way the producer wants. He provides retail outlets with a list of his products and their assigned codes so that they can be entered in the cash register system. Many codes are NOT on the products and are added by the supermarkets on the fly, using an internal code schema that may be non standard. Now it's enough… let's crack.

BARCODES are the only thing an automated casher needs to see on a product to calculate its price and automatically catalogate the sold merchandise… imagine (just imagine it :=) coz it would be extremely illegal to act in this way) somebody would fasten an adhesive home-made codebar label direct on the top of the supermarket/mall/retail store label, say on a bottle of Pomerol (that's a very good but unfortunately very expensive french wine).

The new label would mean for the casher something like “cheap wine from Bordeaux, France, cost so and so, everything it's OK, do not worry”… do you think that anybody would come to the idea that there is something wrong with the label, with the bottle or with you? I have been codebaring for years and had only once a problem, coz my printer was running out of ink and the scanner in the supermarket could not read it… so what? Act uninterested, always wear jackets of the utmost quality, shetland pullovers and beautiful expensive shoes… (all articles that you may codebar too, by the way), in this society appearance and look count much more than substance and knowledge… LET'S USE THIS TO OUR ADVANTAGE! Nobody will ever come to the idea that you may actually really know the working of the scheme… coz codebar is pretty complicated and not exactly exceptionally public. On the Web there are a lot information about it, but most of them are useless, unless you know how to search most of the time you'll find only sentences like this one:

        "The calculated check digit is the twelfth and final
        digit in the U.P.C.code. It is calculated based on a
        specific algorithm, and is necessary to ensure that
        the number is read or key-entered correctly."

But good +ORC will now explain you everything you need to crack:


Each barcode label has 13 values, from #0 to #12 (that's the EAN code, the UPC american one has only 12, from #0 to #11).

   #0 and #1 indicate the origin of the product.
   #2 to #11 give the article code
   #12 (the last and 13th one) is a checksum value, that
   verifies the validity of all the other numbers.

How is it calculated? #12 is calculated in 4 steps

   VALUE A:  You sum odd position numbers (#0+#2+#4+#6+#8+#10)
   VALUE B:  You sum even position numbers and multiply by 3
   VALUE C:  You sum value A and value B
   VALUE D:  You mod value C (you divide by 10 and only keep
   the remaining units, a very widespread checking scheme as
   you'll see in the software part of this lesson)
   If the result is not zero, you subtract it from 10.

Now look at a barcode label, get some books or other barcoded items and <strong>watch</strong> it…

Bar codes are supposed to have “quiet zones” on either side of the symbol. Quiet zones are blank areas, free of any printing or marks,typically 10 times the width of the narrowest bar or space in the bar code. Failure to allow adequate space on either side of the symbol for quiet zones can make it impossible to read the bar code.

On the barcode there are two “borders”, left and right, and a “middle” longer line. These three lines are longer than the others and are used to “regulate” the scanner to whatever dimension has been used for the barcode.

#0 dwells left of the first (left) border and has a special meaning, the other 12 numbers are written “inside” the code and are divided in two “groups” by the middle bar. Each value is coded through SEVEN bars: black=1 and White=0. These form two couples of “optic” bars of different widths. We come now to the “magic” part: In order to bluff the simpletons, barcode uses three different SETS of characters to represent the values 0-9. This should make it impossible for you to understand what's going on, as usual, in this society, slaves should not need to worry with the real functioning of things.

   Here are the graphic codes of the three graphic sets:

     CODE A            CODE B (XOR C)    CODE C (NOT A)
0:  0001101   (13)     0100111   (39)    1110010   (114)
1:  0011001   (25)     0110011   (51)    1100110   (102)
2:  0010011   (19)     0011011   (27)    1101100   (108)
3:  0111101   (61)     0100001   (33)    1000010   (066)
4:  0100011   (35)     0011101   (29)    1011100   (092)
5:  0110001   (49)     0111001   (57)    1001110   (078)
6:  0101111   (47)     0000101   (05)    1010000   (080)
7:  0111011   (59)     0010001   (17)    1000100   (068)
8:  0110111   (55)     0001001   (09)    1001000   (072)

9:  0001011   (11)     0010111   (23)    1110100   (116)

Borders:       101
Centre:        01010

- The C graphic set is a "NOT A" graphic set.
- The B graphic set is a "XOR C" graphic set.
- each value has two couples of bars with different widths

Now watch some labels yourself… see the difference between the numbers left and the numbers right? The first “half” of the barcode is coded using sets A and B, the second “half” using set C. As if that were not enough, A and B are used inside the first “half” in a combination that varies and depends from value #0,

following 10 different patterns:
              #1   #2   #3   #4   #5  #6
   0          A    A    A    A    A    A
   1          A    A    B    A    B    B
   2          A    A    B    B    A    B
   3          A    A    B    B    B    A
   4          A    B    A    A    B    B
   5          A    B    B    A    A    B
   6          A    B    B    B    A    A
   7          A    B    A    B    A    B
   8          A    B    A    B    B    A
   9          A    B    B    A    B    A

“Ah! Stupid buyer will never understand why the same values gives different bars! Nothing is as reliable as barcodes!” :=)

Let's take as example the codebar for Martini Dry:

BARCODE:    8 0 00570 00425 7
Let's see: we have a 8 0 0 = booze
Then a 000570 as ABABBA and a 004257 as C
"Even" sum: 8+0+5+0+0+2 = 15 (even sum)
Then a 0+0+7+0+4+5= 16 and 16 *3 = 48 (odd sum)
Then a 15+48=63
63 <code>=

3 10 - 3 = 7 = checksum Pattern = 8 = ABABBA CCCCCC </code>

OK, one more example: Osborne Windows programming series Volume 2 General purpose API functions (always here on my table)…

BARCODE: 9 7 80078 81991 9
Let's see: we have a 9 7 8 = book
Then a 780078 as ABBABA and a 819919 as C
"Even" sum: 9+8+5+8+8+4 = 42 (even sum)
Then a 7+1+5+2+4+4= 23 and 23 * 3 = 69 (odd sum)
Then a 42+69=111
111 <code>=

1 10 - 1 = 9 = checksum Pattern = 9 = ABBABA </code>

Well… what's the point of all this? The point, my pupils, is that who DOES NOT KNOW is taken along on a boat ride, who KNOWS and LEARNS can use his knowledge in order to try to beat blue and black the loathsome consumistic oligarchy where we are compelled to live. Try it out for yourself… if you crack correctly and wisely your supermarket, mall and library bills will be cut to almost zero.

Write a small program to print whichever codebar you fancy (or whichever your mall uses) in whichever size on whichever sort of label you (or better your targets) fancy… it's quickly done with Visualbasic or Delphy… but you'll not find much on the Web Alternatively you could also write, as I did long ago, a short c program in dos, using a modified upper char set… and there you are, have labels… see the world.

A small word of caution… crack only ONE item at time and try it out first with the SAME label for the same product… i.e. the correct code for that item, but on your own label. If it goes through your program works good, if not, nobody will ever be able to harm you. Anyway it never happens anything, never: the bar code reading equipments have great tolerance, coz the scanners must be able to recognize barcodes that have been printed on many different medias. You should choose labels similar to the ones effectively used only in order not to arise human suspects, coz for all the scanner itself cares, your label could be pink with green stripes and with orange hand-written, numbers. Mind you, we are still just academically imagining hypothetical situations, coz it would be extremely illegal to act in such an inconsiderate manner.

CRACKING POWER! It's true for barcodes, for Telecom bills, for Compuserve accounts, for Amexco cards, for banking cheques (do you know what MICR is? Magnetic Ink Character Recognition… the stylized little printing on the lower left of new cheques… there is a whole cracking school working on it), for registration numbers… you name it, they develope it, we crack it…

Begin with barcodes: it's easy, nice and pretty useful! Live in opulence, with the dignity and affluence that should always distinguish real crackers. Besides… you should see the assortment of 'Pomerols' in my “Cave-a-vin” :=)


The © Instant access routines are a commercial protection scheme used to “unlock” complete commercial applications that have been encrypted on CD-ROMs which are distributed (mostly) through reviews.

This is an ideal cracking target: it's commercial software, complete, uncrippled and of (relatively) prominent quality, that you can get in tons for the price of a coke. Obviously this kind of protection represents an ideal subject for our lessons. This fairly intricate protection scheme has not yet been cracked by anybody that I am aware of, anyway not publicly, therefore it's an ideal candidate for a “strainer” to my university. I'll teach you here how to crack it in three lessons, C.1, C.2 and C.3. I warn you… it's a difficult cracking session, and this protection represents quite an intellectual challenge. But if you are seriously interested in our trade you will enjoy these lessons more than anything else.

This cracking is intended as an “assignment” for my +HCU “cracking university”: you'll find inside lessons C.1 and C.2 a relatively deep “introduction” to Instant access cracking. This will teach you a lot anyway, and spare you hours of useless roaming around, bringing you straight to the cracking point. But I'll release the third part of this session, with the complete solution (lesson C.3) on the Web only in october 1996, not a day before. All the students that would like to apply to the Higher Cracking University, opening on the web 01/01/1997, should work in July, August and September (three months is more than enough time) on this assignment. They should crack completely the instant access scheme and send me their solutions, with a good documentation of their cracking sessions, before 30/09/1996 (WATCH IT! You can crack this scheme in -at least- three different paths, be careful and choose the <strong>best</strong> one. WATCH IT! Some of the informations) in lesson C.1 and C.2 are slightly incorrect: check it!).

There are four possibilities:

1) The candidate has not found the crack or his solution is

   not enough documented or not enough viable... the candidate
   is therefore not (yet) crack-able, he will not be admitted
   to the +HCU 1997 curses, better luck in 1998;

2) The cracking solution proposed by the candidate is not as

   good as mine (you'll judge for yourself in october) but it
   works nevertheless... he'll be admitted at the 1997

3) The cracking solution of the candidate is more or less

   equal to mine, he'll be admitted, personally monitored, and
   he'll get all the material he needs to crack on higher

4) The cracking solution of the candidate is better than mine,

   he'll be admitted, get all the material he wishes and asked
   to teach us as well as study with us: "homines, dum docent,

You 'll obtain the missing lessons IF AND ONLY IF you mail me back (via with some tricks of the trade I may not know that YOU discovered. Mostly I'll actually know them already, but if they are really new you'll be given full credit, and even if they are not, should I judge that you rediscovered them with your work, or that you actually did good work on them, I'll send you the remaining lessons nevertheless. Your suggestions and critics on the whole crap I wrote are also welcomed.

+ORC <a href=“mailto:an526164@anon”></a>

  • barcode.txt
  • Last modified: 2007-06-18 13:59
  • by nik