First cracks form in Denuvo’s previously impervious DRM armor

First cracks form in Denuvo’s previously impervious DRM armor

For months now, the digital rights management solution known as Denuvo has proven utterly impervious to cracks and workarounds—so impervious that a major piracy group warned games may become completely “crack-proof” within two years (that same group later took a public break from even attempting any more single-player hacks). In recent days, however, the first cracks have started to develop in Denuvo’s digital armor (pun intended).

Denuvo works by creating a unique key for a game based on the specific hardware configuration of the legitimate purchaser’s machine. If those game files are shared with another player using another computer, Denuvo’s protection will detect the hardware differences and make sure the game doesn’t work as intended.

Over the weekend, a hacker going by the handle Voksi crafted a workaround for this protection by building off the demo for id Software’s recent Doom remake. Using a custom loader program, Voksi managed to swap the Steam AppID for a pirated copy of the full Doom game with that of a legitimately downloaded free demo. With that change, Steam and Denuvo apparently viewed the full game as if it was the legitimate demo and allowed it to load without issue. The same essential workaround was adapted for other Denuvo-protected games, including Rise of the Tomb Raider.

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