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Unlock protected blocks in Siemens SIMATIC Step 7

Recently I'd been called by Hindalco's Fabrication Plant division to unlock the protected blocks in Siemens
SIMATIC Step 7. They were in need to unlock those blocks since an year because of 1 million Rupees of
loss per month. They want to repro!ram those blocks but it was locked by the man who'd done the setup.
From the people workin! in that department" I came to know that they were tryin! to call that man
#someone from Italy$ ri!ht here but he's not comin!. %ctually" what he'd done was that he'd locked some
of the blocks and deleted the source file. %nd &iemens didn't provide any feature to unlock. 'epartment
people also told me that even the people workin! in &iemens don't know how to do it. (ein! a software
en!ineer I know that any thin! can be reverse en!ineered. &o I took up the challen!e.

How did I unlocked the blocks?

The first thin! I'd done was searched about this software at )oo!le and read about what is this software
all about. %fter that I'd e*plored the software. % person #mi!ht be &+ pro!rammer$ told me about
')enerate source' and shown me a sample by doin! it. Further on he'd shown me how do they lock a block
via KNOW_HOW_PROTECT. It was ama,in!" they -ust write this line #KNOW_HOW_PROTECT$ inside a pro!ram
after be!in statement and compile the code. The compiled code is known as blocks. The blocks are now
protected which means the code inside the block can't be seen by other. Then delete the source and your
blocks are now protected.

.ow my ob-ective was to unlock those blocks. &o I'd followed the steps !iven below to unlock those blocks"

Step 1: 'ownload *.dbf file editor. The free '/& based dbf editor is the one I'd used. 0ou can download
it from"




Step : >*tract dbf_edit.exe from the ,ipped file. Put it somewhere to easily access it. I'd put it inside
a folder named dbfedit in C: drive. &o path to run the editor is C:\DBFEDIT>dbfedit.exe

Step !: To unlock the blocks" copy a file named SUBBLK.DBF from
..\PROJECT\ombstx\offline\00000001\ folder where PROJECT is the directory containin! your &+
Pro-ect. Paste this file inside C:\DBFEDIT\ folder.

Step ": /pen ?ommand Prompt #'/& window$ via clickin! on

&tart @ Run @ type 'cmd' @ press enter


&tart @ %ll Pro!rams @ %ccessories @ ?ommand Prompt

Step #: Follow these commands"

C:\>cd dbfedit
C:\DBFEDIT>dbfedit.exe subblk.dbf

% '/& based application will open. &earch for the PASSWORD column. %nd chan!e all 9 into < to unlock
the blocks. Press Esc/F10 key to save and e*it.


Step $: ?opy the SUBBLK.DBF file inside C:\DBFEDIT\ folder and paste it at it's ori!inal location.
%lways remember to make the backup of ori!inal SUBBLK.DBF.

Step 7: .ow open the pro-ect in SIMAT%C Step 7 software. %ll the blocks are unlocked.

&o my ob-ective is completed successfully.

It took me around 9 hours to complete this for the first time. (ut after that I can do it within 7 minutes.

Have funA