Recently CRI Middleware updated their latest ACB archives’ format, and they seemed to have updated encryption of HCA files as well. As a result, the old toolsets can do nothing on the updated files. After about 20 hours of research I finally found what they changed on the decryption. Might be the first in the world, again. This is what’s called “highlight” in reverse engineering. XD
The final answer is somewhat simple: transform the decryption key, and use the transformed key to initialize the decryption table. The formula is
key' = key * ((uint64_t)(k2 << 16) | (uint16_t)(~k2 + 2)) where
key is the input key and
k2 is a secondary key stored in the higher 16 bits of “field alignment” field, in each ACB/AWB file.
This article is about the way and thoughts of finding this transformation. It is roughly recorded in time order. I hope this materials may help someone in the future.
My result is based on various people’s works. Without thoses pieces, the whole puzzle cannot be completed. So a big thank you for everyone involved.
Be noted again: the contents in this article must not be used for commercial purposes.