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EA, BioWare Under Fire for Dragon Age II DRM


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EA, BioWare Under Fire for Dragon Age II DRM

It seems EA and BioWare failed to disclose anti-piracy features in the PC version of Dragon Age II, and anti-DRM groups are pitching a fit.

Reports of DRM-related Dragon Age II issues are so far nil, but it looks like EA may have used SecuROM-like (or related) technology in the recently released fantasy roleplaying game. The rub? Everyone hates SecuROM for fiddling with your fair use rights, and EA/Bioware may have fibbed to consumers and anti-DRM watchdog groups about their use of it in the game.

Reclaim Your Game (RYG) first brought it up a few weeks ago, upbraiding EA and BioWare for effectively dancing around DRM questions and claiming repeatedly that Dragon Age II didn't use SecuROM.

According to RYG, that's a lie.

Let's be clear: RYG's not talking about SecuROM in full, but lopped off pieces of it detected in the game, including a "release date check" that prevented Dragon Age II from activating prior to a set launch time. The actual authentication process is handled by something different called Sony Release Control (though reportedly designed by the SecuROM people). According to BioWare, once you've authenticated, Release Control "self-destructs," disappears, and "is never used again." The exclusion includes future downloads, and means no lingering processes.

Dishonesty warrants rebuke, sure, but are we getting too tetchy about DRM that's appears to support fair use? As long as it's not forcing you to stay online or authenticate every three seconds or ransoming your first, second, and third-born, do you care if the technology's present, so long as it doesn't collect or transmit anything it shouldn't, and disappears upon activation?

RYG News: Analysing SecuROM In Dragon Age 2

RYG News: Connecting Dragon Age 2's “Release Control” To SecuROM


RYG News: RYG Declines To Fix Dragon Age 2 With EA and Bioware


Dragon Age 2-RELOADED

03/2011 :..... RELEASE.DATE .. PROTECTION .......: Activation

other games evaluated etc

Edited by Blah
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Dragon Age 2 uses SecuROM Matroschka for performing an online release date check (same as Deadspace 2). it's goal is to stop you playing pirated copies before the actual release date.

Scanning -> .\DragonAge2.exe

File Type : 32-Bit Exe (Subsystem : Win GUI / 2), Size : 27850440 (01A8F6C8h) Byte(s)

-> File Appears to be Digitally Signed @ Offset 01A8E1E0h, size : 014E8h / 05352 byte(s)

-> File has 3 (03h) bytes of appended data starting at offset 01A8E1DDh

[File Heuristics] -> Flag : 00000000000000001000000000000100 (0x00008004)

[!] SecuROM Matroschka Package Detected

[!] Possible CD/DVD-Key or Serial Check -> Invalid serial

[CompilerDetect] -> Visual C++ 7.1 (Visual Studio 2003)

- Scan Took : 2.660 Second(s) [000000924h tick(s)]

if the release check was successfull (server response), the real game.exe gets unpacked.

feed the newly created exe into protection id shows the following:

Scanning -> \DragonAge2.exe

File Type : 32-Bit Exe (Subsystem : Win GUI / 2), Size : 12135656 (0B92CE8h) Byte(s)

[x] Warning - FileAlignment seems wrong.. is 0x00000200, calculated 0x00001000

-> File Appears to be Digitally Signed @ Offset 0B91800h, size : 014E8h / 05352 byte(s)

[File Heuristics] -> Flag : 00000100000001001100000000000101 (0x0404C005)

[!] Possible CD/DVD-Key or Serial Check -> SerialNumber

[CompilerDetect] -> Visual C++ 9.0 (Visual Studio 2008)

[!] File appears to have no protection or is using an unknown protection

- Scan Took : 0.889 Second(s) [000000379h tick(s)]

no securom in the newly created exe at all.

the release date check is only executed ONE time at the first run. then the game.exe gets unpacked and replaces the securom matroschka one.

dragon age 2 uses a custom wrapper by ea + activation (custom, no securom pa) :)

Edited by ac!d
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