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Visibilty of boxed files

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Visibilty of boxed files

Postby Matte0 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:47 pm

Hello everybody,

firstly I want to congratulate for great application that is an Enigma Protector. I read a lot of about protecting .NET binaries and right now I realized that it very difficult and painfull proces ;) Enigma Protector works very good especially in comparison with other concurent applications(I made a lot of test and research in this area), but I have very simple problem..

Well..how to hide files that are virtually boxed, in "protected binary point of view"?

Maybe I try to visualize my problem:

Suppose that we create a protected application MyAPP.exe with boxed files a.dll and b.dll inside. Our application need a "Load from"/"Save to" dialogs. Next we copy our protected binary into c:/test1/test2/MyAPP.exe, we execute and click "Load from". File open dialog appears and unfortunatelly we see duplicated folders test1 and test2 and what is worse all files that should be protected: a.dll and b.dll :|

How to hide those files?I saw that option in some concurent application, so maybe I can't find right option in Enigma.

Thanks for any help in advance!
Matte0
 
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Re: Visibilty of boxed files

Postby Enigma » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:57 am

Hi Matte0,

That's an another side of the medal, if files are not visible in files dialog then they are not visible for a program, it is impossible to determine if the file should be visible for only file open dialogs or no.

Anyway, since you are a developer, and you can make changes to the application code, there are some workarounds.

1. In the Enigma Protector set the file attributes as "Hidden" and do not show hidden files in file dialogs. So your customers won't see these dll files. This is the most simple way.
2. I know some customers build own file open dialogs, and just do not know embeded files there. This is the most difficult way.
3. This is an alternative way. Imagine, in Enigma Protector - Virtual Box you may put virtual files in some relative path, like %DEFAULT FOLDER%, %WINDOWS FOLDER% etc, but you may also put them in the absolute path, like a drive X: or Z:
I think not all customers (very rare customers) have disks with the name X: and Z:, right? So you may put files there. And then, inside the program you will load these dll files from these absolute paths.
This method has some advantage, virtual drives are not shown in file dialogs, so if user does not have such real drives, he/she won't see virtual files, but the application will see them well and will be working well.
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Re: Visibilty of boxed files

Postby Matte0 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:12 pm

Hi, thanks for reply,

Yes, I'm a developer, and I made already a workaround that You descirbed as second option, but i will check also last solution. All in all thanks for the help again!

P.S Maybe I write some hints for anyone that will have similar issue to solve. I made an small WinForm application that shows only a file open/save dialog. I run this app as a seperate process(from main app) with arguments like "dialog type", "window title", "initial directory", "filters" and what is important I redirect app stdout into My main application. When files are selected, path is returned by stdout to main app.

This solution is based on fact that only a protected application see virtualized files while any another not.
Matte0
 
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Re: Visibilty of boxed files

Postby Enigma » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:35 am

Thanks Matte0 for the note. Also, I would note that the option "Share Virtual Files to Child Processes" should be disabled if it does not affect functionality of your application.
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Re: Visibilty of boxed files

Postby ck_ » Wed May 07, 2014 8:43 am

Matte0 wrote:File open dialog appears and unfortunatelly we see duplicated folders

I would like to join the issue. Why duplicates appears? Not only in dialogs but also if you use API for listing dirs. I saw the same problem in 3.XX and in 4.XX it still present.

Also about hiding files. What do you think about having extra API for 'boxed' or hidden files?
For example in VB you mark files as hidden, you don't see them in the dialogs and don't have access via regular file API (open, read etc) but instead there is Enigma API for that EP_read(), EP_open() etc. In short the proposal is to have own VFS API for boxed files.

Thanks.
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Re: Visibilty of boxed files

Postby Enigma » Thu May 08, 2014 9:27 am

Hi ck_

ck_ wrote:I would like to join the issue. Why duplicates appears? Not only in dialogs but also if you use API for listing dirs. I saw the same problem in 3.XX and in 4.XX it still present.


This is not a problem, this is expected functionality, it was there all the time our products in the market. Except the user confusion, these duplicates do not affect the workability of the application. So one of the duplicate is a read file/folder, another is virtual one, however if application is calling this file, the virtual one is always returned.

Unfortunately, if we solve this problem, files listing may slow down a lot.

We are working to solve this issue, but I can't give you any advices yet.

ck_ wrote:For example in VB you mark files as hidden, you don't see them in the dialogs and don't have access via regular file API (open, read etc) but instead there is Enigma API for that EP_read(), EP_open() etc. In short the proposal is to have own VFS API for boxed files.


That's may be a good idea, I will add it into todo list.

Btw, you may embed the files into Protection Features - Protected Strings option, there is an ability to add binary data into it.
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Re: Visibilty of boxed files

Postby ck_ » Fri May 09, 2014 5:14 am

Enigma wrote:So one of the duplicate is a read file/folder

Not clear what you mean. Duplicates happens also with only virtial files (with removed source files). Anyway I understood what I have to implement workaround to remove duplicates (my app builds UI at runtime depending on files, so with file duplicates I have duplicated UI elements).

Enigma wrote:Btw, you may embed the files into Protection Features - Protected Strings option, there is an ability to add binary data into it.


Yep, will work for with small files and no streaming feature but interesting idea, thanks.
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