"Or how to create your own hardware cracking resources"
By Black Fenix

In this tutoial we're going to build a sort of "spy" device, later we'll plug it to the paralel port. The original design is from Virgilio Gómez but I've modified it a bit. This "spy" has multiple functions, but I'm going to use it for a curious purpose.
The "spy" function is: check if the port works correctly, monitor any activity by switching various LED's on and off. This will be useful to monitor any dongle activity (see my generic essay on dongles), while we're debugging programs we will know if the calls that we're tracing sent some info to the dongle (the LEDs will tell us 8) )

With this help we'll speed up the location of the implied calls, after that we'll concentrate our efforts in this calls trought a more deep code analisys, whitout needn't to trace all the previous calls that has nothing to do with the dongle.

The circuit scheme is quite simple, but before we're going to take a look at the DB-25 connector pinout, just to increase our knowledge a bit.

Pin I/O Active polarity Description
1 Output 0 Strobe
2 ~ 9 Output - Data lines (bit 0/pin 2, bit 7/pin 9)
10 Input 0 Acknowledge line (active when the remote system takes data)
11 Input 0 Busy Line (if active, the remote system does not accept any data)
12 Input 1 Out of paper line (if active, the printer is out of paper)
13 Input 1 Select line (if active, the printer is selected)
14 Output 0 Autofeed Line (if active, the printer inserts a new carriage return for each new line)
15 Input 0 Error line (if active, there is a printer error)
16 Output 0 Init line (if active during 50 micro-seconds, the printer will be initialized)
17 Output 0 Select input line (if active, the forces the printer to stay out of line)
18 ~ 25 - - Ground

Well, you see that there is no need to monitor all the pins, with the first 8 data lines we'll have enough (mode SPP standard). If we've got 8 data lines (1byte = 8 bits), we'll  need one LED for each bit, this leads to a total of 8 LEDs. This LEDs will need some power to work, we're not going to use the low power that flows trought the port cos isn't enough for our purposes and we don't wanna spend to much money in low consume components. Thus, with a 5V power battery we'll have enough. We'll obtain this voltage from a 9V battery, later we'll reduce this to 5V with the help of and integrated.Also we'll use another integrated 74LS244, this one will work as a voltage separator, preventing any posible damages to the paralel port.


8 LEDs (red color is the most suitable one)
8 resistors 220 Ohms 1/2 Watt
Integrated circuit 74LS244
Transistor L7805CV
DB25 male connector

DB 25 connector.

Integrated circuit 74LS244

Once you've build the circuit, you must check that it works fine, connect it to the 9V battery and check that all the LEDs are ON. This is correct, cos while the data lines aren't being connected to ground, the LEDs will rest ON. Checking that everything is correct, plug the "spy" to the paralel port (i. e: LPT1 address 378h) and power on your computer. If everything goes right, you'll see that the LED goes OFF and while the computer boots (not the OS, the BIOS), you'll see the LEDsd flashing from time to time (this is good, coz the BIOS is sending data to the port and our "spy" is trapping it :) )
If you don't notice any activity, test that you've the port enabled, enter the BIOS and modify the option (check you motherboard manual if you don't know how to do this).

To check that all the LEDs work well , we can use SoftIce.Press Ctrl+D and enter the following commands.

o 378 0 -> switch OFF all the LEDs binari value 00000000
o 378 FF -> switch ON all the LEDs binari value 11111111
o 378 1 -> switch ON first LED binari value 00000001
o 378 2 -> switch ON second LED binari value 00000010
o 378 4 -> switch ON third LED binari value 00000100
o 378 8 -> switch ON fourth LED binari value 00001000
o 378 10 -> switch ON fifth LED binari value 00010000
o 378 20 -> switch ON sixth LED binari value 00100000
o 378 40 -> switch ON seventh LED binari value 01000000
o 378 80 -> switch ON eigth LED binari value 10000000

I must say that this circuit it's very simple and could be improved in a lot of aspects:

- Allow data output and input , this will allow us to work with the dongle plugged. Monitor dongle responses, with green LEDs or other color.All this stuff implies bi-directional comunications.In ASCCI:

PC <-----> spy <----> dongle or another device

- Trap dongle responses and send (duplicate) them to another port. This port we'll be listened by a software that will transfer the responses to a file. This would be a good advance, and we will be able to do a dongle emulator with the received data.

- Increase data lines (LEDs) if needed.

I think that all this could be done, we only need to know a bit more about electronics, could somebody tell me how to acomplish that ? I've got a vague idea, but I don't know wich components are needed and how to connect them.

That's all, you see, how we must call this? plug-&-crack technology perhaps. :)

I must thank you all the people who helped me, either wih material or with advices on how to do this.

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por Mr. Silver / WKT!
This information is for educational purposes only. I can not be responsible of your acts, so be careful when you use it.