What is a Crack Dongle?

A dongle crack is a method of circumventing a computer security system that uses both hardware and software. The idea of ​​the system is that the software only works when a specific and unique device is inserted into the computer. Dongle breaking is an attempt to get around this, usually by trying to use a counterfeit dongle.

A USB dongle.

The word dongle is often used to refer to any device that plugs into a USB port. However, strictly speaking, it only refers to a specific hardware device and not to a mere storage system such as a USB memory stick. There are several types of dongle, each providing its own reason for people to try to crack the dongle.

The original meaning of dongle was a device used as a security system. It is used to protect very expensive software, usually for a niche market. The system means that the software is set to work only after confirming that the dongle is inserted into the machine. The idea is that it is much more difficult to reproduce a physical item, such as a dongle, than the software itself.

There are several ways to use a dongle for security, each with its own difficulties for someone trying to crack the dongle. In its simplest form, the software simply checks to see if the dongle is physically present. This can be circumvented by hacking the software and configuring it so that it always works as if the dongle is present.

Another security method is to have the software send an encrypted confirmation request to the dongle. This can be broken in the same way as simple verification, but doing so is only possible if the encryption can be nullified. An even more advanced method is to have part of the program stored in the dongle itself rather than in the main software. This makes it much harder to crack, as simply tricking the software into thinking the dongle is present will not be enough.

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The term “dongle crack” can also refer to dongles that are used for wireless broadband services, whether over WiFi or a cellular phone network. In these cases, the dongles are actually miniature modem devices that plug into a USB slot. In this context, someone trying to break the dongle will likely try to break the encryption and intercept data sent to and from the internet or use bandwidth to get online without having to pay for a connection.

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