This is probably old news but since we’ve been covering the ‘UBISoft DRM’ sage from the beginning, here’s another episode. As you may already know, UBISoft recently introduced a new Digital Rights Management (DRM) system to thwart piracy of their PC games. This controversial DRM which required users to be connected to the internet whenever they played the game, was initially a success with pirates not being able to hack illegitimate copies of UBI’s newer generation titles such as Assassin's Creed 2. However, the DRM was not the impenetrable shield UBISoft expected it to be – some innovative folks from a well known Russian underground community soon found a way to emulate the authentication server. If the emu server wasn't enough, the warez scene has now joined the party with what looks like an actual crack (and not a workaround) for this much hyped protection.

ubisoft skidrow
Image: An allegedly fake screenshot of UBISoft’s web page which was earlier posted on several prominent news sites – SKIDROW denies any hacking attempts on their part. 

If there was a race between P2P and scene for a working pirated version of AC2, then P2P won that battle a long time ago with the Emu server. It was not a true crack and did not circumvent the protection (merely bypassed) but the method did seemingly work. However for those who were waiting to witness the real downfall of UBI’s DRM and see it get cracked into oblivion, SKIDROW’s release should be great news. SKIDROW claims to have cracked the protection and if what’s said in the NFO is correct, they are not using an emulation method at all. Quoted below is the release NFO:

While we worked on this release, we noticed that several news webpages, forums, blogs etc. posted information, including a
screenshot of a Ubisoft server attack message, which showed our group name.

First of all, that picture is a fake, nor would any member of Skid Row cause such riot, as we're only here to compete with
our game release competitors, nothing else. Neither do we encourage anyone to take such actions, no matter how much we agree, that DRM's like this one, are only hurting those that do want to buy the game or have bought it.

Another point is those news medias, we mentioned before, post anything these days, no matter if it's a joke or not. Beware what you're posting, just because you want to prank someone. This release is an accomplishment of weeks of investigating,
experimenting, testing and lots of hard work.

We know that there is a server emulator out in the open, which makes the game playable, but when you look at our cracked content, you will know that it can't be compared to that. Our work does not construct any program deviation or any kind
of host file paradox solutions. Install game and copy the cracked content, it's that simple.

Since we don't want to see cheap imitations, we protected our work with a solid shield. Not because we want to deceive the majority, like certain people out there, but because we have in the past been an open book of knowledge for our competitors.

Real cracking is done by The Leading Force

I haven’t tried the crack myself but as per comments on gaming forums, it all works sans a few unlockable items. That means one thing – from a small release group who stuck to releasing budget games a while back, SKIDROW has come a long way (plus they release some cool cracktros from time to time – now that’s old school :p ). They were one of the first groups to have a go at UBI’s new protection with a crack for Silent Hunter 5 (although a buggy one) and in the end they seem to have succeeded. Anyways now it would be interesting to see UBISoft’s move – will they update their DRM and patch its holes in Splinter Cell Conviction? Or will the Scene/P2P get the better of it?

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  1. tatootian // 4/23/2010 01:04:00 AM  

    nothing new...

  2. MsK // 4/23/2010 01:22:00 AM  

    Yeah, saw that yesterday, freaking good news for every user :)

    I wrote an article about that too today on thepiracytimes

  3. zonexl // 4/23/2010 05:37:00 AM  

    The crack doesn't work, many people have already found out that some cut scenes freeze, making it impossible to finish the game.

  4. Jukka // 4/23/2010 11:43:00 AM  

    bullshit. everything works. yesterday and day before yesterday i played it 6 hours straight with no bugs and freezes.

  5. test // 4/23/2010 01:59:00 PM  

    The Skidrow "crack" is simply the emulator made into a dll file. If you unextract it, you can see that they even copied one of the double-values in the original values.db.
    So better hope fon a server-emu than for the "scene" to crack the next ubi games.

  6. Andrew // 4/23/2010 04:48:00 PM  

    Server emulator is already released, check out RuTracker.

  7. Amr Essam // 4/25/2010 09:47:00 PM  
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  8. Syed // 4/26/2010 08:38:00 AM  

    actually, zonexl is correct. the game consistently and continually freezes during cutscenes and the long conversations using the crack. i bought the game and decided just to go back to the server hassle. However, i respect skidrow for their amazing work, if they could improve upon it it would be even better. jukka, just because you lucked out and it doesn't freeze for you, it does not mean that what someone else is saying is "bullshit"

  9. Ner0 // 7/02/2010 02:24:00 AM  

    Just for the record, don't take the previous post about game freezing during cutscenes. It doesn't represent the crack quality because I use it and it doesn't sutter a bit. Anyway, even then you'll still be able to play when Ubi servers get DDOSed. Maybe your GPU fan is a bit dusty, yes? LOL

  10. Nicolai // 7/11/2010 12:28:00 AM  

    ACII crack works, no freezing, those who claim it does either need a HW upgrade, or are trying to spread propaganda for Ubi... Just saying..

  11. John Tracker // 12/20/2012 01:10:00 PM