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Pace Moves to Suppress Reverse Engineering Discussion

As a follow on to our post about McAfee pulling content before it could be read by many, is a case where a company has taken steps to unpublish third party information that has already been published.

The Reverse Engineering Mac OS X site was running a series of entries on reverse engineering / decompiling Pace protected OS X binaries, only now the entries have been pulled pending threat of litigation from Pace.

All that had been published to that point had been exploratory posts probing possible entry points to bypass the Pace binary obfuscation and protection and recover the binaries to a point where they could be explored more readily from a better understood point of view. Efforts from Pace (specifically the InterLok application) to prevent the attaching of debuggers only drew the reverse engineers in further - taunting them with a disassembly they couldn't easily accomplish.

This time around, the RSS feed of the Reverse Engineering Mac OS X site didn't provide the full posted content, so it seemed that the content posted up to that point had been lost for good - it was unlikely that it would have been replicated across other sites to any significant extent.

Since the content had been online for a couple of weeks, webcrawlers had been able to index the posts and their full content is still residing in various search engine caches across the Internet.

As the site's operator, fG! points out "One thing is certain, you can't acomplish security by obscurity ! You can't simply stop knowledge because these days information flows at a bigger rate than ever. Disclosure is the only way to improve products!", with the following caution for those trying to reproduce the cached but missing entries "About Pace? I'm in contact with their lawyer and I have been asked to remove all information about this. If you have mirrored the three Pace posts and code (I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who mirrors important info right away) please do not make it publicly available. Pace will wave you with DMCA and it's not worth the trouble. Keep it for yourself, please".

Is there enough interest in reverse engineering OS X to generate a Streisand Effect, or will Pace be successful in seeing this information banished from the wider Internet?

29 May 2009

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