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From Octavian Râsnita <>
Subject Re: decline and fall of modperl?
Date Wed, 25 Mar 2009 15:46:03 GMT
From: "Joel Bernstein" <>
On 23 Mar 2009, at 21:18, Octavian Râsnita wrote:
> Can I encrypt some .pm modules in such a way that they couldn't be 
> decrypted easier than the PHP files encrypted by Zend Encoder?
> If yes, please tell us how, because it would be a really important 
> information for the perl developers.

> No idea. Can you make this a question against a measurable target?

A pretty simple or medium simple application which is encrypted should not 
be decrypted easy enough to worth the effort of doing this.
The encrypting solution should be very simple to implement.

> I'm  not sure what makes you think that the Zend Encoder files are not
recoverable, anecdotal evidence online suggests that they are.

I haven't seen any prove that they can be decrypted easy enough to worth the 
Modifying the perl or PHP interpreter to save the generated source code 
instead of compiling and executing it, or creating a program that monitors 
the memory and unobfuscate the found source code it is a too big effort and 
it would be much easier to re-create the program instead of decrypting it.

> In any case, I've barely heard of a Perl developer who wants this 
> feature. Nobody needs encrypted Perl source. It runs in an  interpreter. 
> No point, no value, and nobody wants this feature.  Nobody's worked on a 
> good implementation because it'd be a waste of  time and resources.
> /joel=

The actual perl programmers are not important, because they already have 
their reasons for using perl.
Are you saying that nobody uses Zend Encoder because PHP also runs using an 
I really doubt it.

There are very many software companies that create PHP source code but offer 
just the Zend Encrypted programs and not the source code.
It would be very good if those software companies would know that they could 
do the same programs in perl, and offer the same protection.

I tested Filter::Crypto and it is great!
It is a free code so we can't expect to be as easy to use as Zend Encoder, 
but if we compare it with Zend Encoder, its main problem is that it is not 
so much promoted as Zend Encoder.

I've tried to install it using cpan under Linux, but it gave an error, so I 
needed to force install it.
I've also tried to install it under Windows, but it required Open SSL, so I 
needed to download and compile that software first.
There is a PPM package for Windows and it installs fine, but it doesn't say 
that it requires Open SSL, and after I installed it, I found that it doesn't 
work without installing Open SSL.
Strangely, but after I installed Open SSL under Windows, I was able to 
install it using cpan, and it didn't give any error (unlike under Linux).

I've tested it with a few programs, including the main module of a Catalyst 
application, and it worked very well.


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