Adobe Photoshop CC Has Apparently Been Cracked One Day After Launch


It truly is a cat and mouse game between software developers and software pirates. It’s been that way for years. So when a company like Adobe decides to change up their entire business model to subscription-based to curb the piracy of their professional-grade product suite, you would expect it to take a fair amount of time before the pirates managed to find a workaround.

Perhaps not the case, at least according to a torrent link uploaded today to The Pirate Bay (one of the largest torrent-tracking sites on the Internet). Just one day following the official launch of Photoshop CC, the software has apparently been cracked and available for downloading illegally.

The torrent is titled “Adobe Photoshop CC 14.0 Final Multilanguage” and was uploaded by someone named Ching Liu. According to comments left by some Pirate Bay users, the software appears to be the real deal.


Upon installation of the desktop software, Adobe requires the end user’s computer to be connected to the Internet to verify the Creative Cloud subscription status. That would suggest that software pirates have found a means to bypass this authorization (not a huge surprise, if true).

These desktop applications connect back to Adobe’s servers every month to re-validate a customer’s subscription status, so whether or not this is a long-term solution for pirates remains to be seen.

It could potentially be a huge blow to Adobe’s “stop-piracy” ambitions, but with Photoshop being one of the most pirated software in the world, this may not be a game software developers like Adobe can win (yet).

(via Fstoppers)

Disclaimer: We do not, in any form, condone software piracy.

  • Guest

    fifteen year old kids never find a way to get alcohol…pharaog99 Razor1911

    as always….thx Ching Liu

  • pharaoh

    fifteen year old kids never find a way to get alcohol…pharaoh99 Razor1911

    as always….thx Ching Liu

  • Mike

    Perfect analysis. Small-scale piracy (i.e. by those who would never buy the product anyway) is most certainly in Adobe’s interest.

  • Jarda Měšťák


  • Ken Elliott

    “… So when a company like Adobe decides to change up their entire business model to subscription-based to curb the piracy…”

    Just so everyone knows, all professional programmers know that piracy cannot be stopped. Anything program we write can be modified to thwart our efforts. We can delay or make piracy difficult, but cannot stop it.

    When you see companies say things like this, it is a smokescreen. The real goal is to stabilize cashflow. Selling upgrades puts you on a rollercoaster of income. A bad update would sell poorly and hurt your cashflow. But the subscription model gives you a steady flow of cash, and you are no longer dependent on the features and quality of an upgrade. Stockholders love this and the entire software industry has been trying to come up with a workable model for this. Study what Autodesk did over the last 15 years.

    If you don’t like Adobe’s model, vote with your dollars. If the stockholders feel pain then Adobe will respond. And the only pain stockholders feel is money.

  • kendon

    actually, the hacked amtlib.dll from cs6 still works, so technically it was hacked quite a while before it was out.

  • kendon

    darktable is more an alternative to lightroom. on the photoshop front the gimp is afaik still your best option.

  • Kay O. Sweaver

    Free updates? Are you smoking crack? You’re paying constantly. That’s not “free updates.”

  • Froggy

    Sweet. Off I go to that big old Bay….Arrrgh Matey!

  • Steven

    It’s $20 a month for the FIRST YEAR. A year from now you’d either have to pay $40 or $50 a month or stop your subscription..

  • rm

    Price? What about the fact that if you stop paying you will be left with nothing. No software and no way to edit those layers that are so important in our work.
    Compared to this price is nothing

  • rm

    Pay your money for CC, edit 1,000 images with layers, filters, and other adjustments, stop paying.
    Because the software is now disabled you’ve suddenly lost the ability to edit and perhaps even open those images.
    What about the 20,000+ images you worked on before CC?
    What will you use to open or edit them after CS6 eventually becomes dead-ware?

    Now tell me there is no reason to find a cracked version that won’t expire.

    I don’t mind the subscription model, and I’d have upgraded to CS7 if it had been released.
    But what I do mind is Adobe setting up a system that DISABLES MY SOFTWARE AND MY ABILITY TO WORK if I don’t keep paying while at the same time voids any past work because CS6 WILL NOT BE COMPATIBLE WITH ADVANCING TECHNOLOGIES.

  • Joe Morales

    The student & teacher bundle is $19.99 too. I was going, literally, to pay for it yesterday until I read it requires a full payment of one year in advance. How is this good for us students? I thought the bundle was created to help students in the first place!!!

    Now, I do understand they’re asking us a commitment payment because this bundle includes everything. But couldn’t they offered more options for the Student & Teacher bundle? I just want Ps, Ae, Ai and Pr!

  • Joe Morales

    I knew it! So much for hacking

    Oh Adobe…

  • Joe Morales

    That was not the point.

  • Regan Music

    I’m fairly confident they won’t withdraw my license for any reason anytime soon. they can, that doesn’t mean they’re gonna sit on their computers all day and make a hobby out of it.

  • Regan Music

    not true, i’m posting because i think the price IS reasonable. especially if you’re used to upgrading your creative suite every year up to this point. $50 per month at 600 per year is WAY cheaper than 3 grand per year or whatever it was before. the only ones who would really complain about this would be people who have never experienced having to pay for adobe products year after year before… like pirates, freeloaders, or students.

  • Regan Music

    on the contrary, i know several people in a small social circle who are actually paying for adobe products now because it’s finally within an affordable reach. the only reason they didnt pay for it before was because it was literally impossible for them to procure that lump sum.

  • Regan Music

    did you guys read the article? it says “Ching Liu”.

    Yes, probably a fake name, but PROBABLY a chinese guy.

  • Regan Music

    Agh, the internet is troll city. This is a great change adobe has made for their customers. finally ppl can afford to pay for licenses instead of piracy being the only feasable way.

  • SJ Fotography

    Google has premium versions as well, with more storage space and other facilities. My point is not about google followed it because of Piracy, my point is previously for document processing we had MS office or Open office which was available only offline and needed to be installed because the features they provide were not practically possible then to implement online. But now the technology has proven it can be done online and made it possible, so some day PS also might be available to edit online so that the usage will be restricted to specific accounts. It was a concept put forward and not an argument :)

  • SJ Fotography

    There are web applications those after rendering can be used offline, probably they can think something like that. Imagine a platform adobe provides to edit your pictures on their servers, which is tagged to your account, the processing will be done on adobe’s server and that also lets you not to worry about your hardware performance. The users will be using a client (may be a browser) to connect to the server and render the application for processing. The users will be willing to pay even more if the processing is done on their servers which might make it faster than on local machine. Again this is a concept, need to be improvised as per practical possibilities and usage.

    Regarding availability of internet for processing, I do not think it is a big concern nowadays, it can only improve, else there won’t be products getting into the market like chromebook which rely mainly on cloud servers.

  • Eziz

    true story :)

  • Jarda Měšťák

    25 is minimum in expensive restautant. No problem get 30 biers and more

  • clangnuts

    It’s not $20 a month in the UK – it’s £17.59 UK pounds, which is more like $27

    If it was $20 a month for UK – that would be £12 – no one would pirate PS then.

  • beautox

    They don’t want it to be crack-proof. They want everyone using it.

  • Dewdle

    Honestly , would you risk exposing your computer and documents to pirated software jigged and rigged by a guy named Ching Liu? That ain’t Irish. Probably has some of the latest Chinese spyware coded into it.

  • Thomas Campbell-Adams

    People pirate $1 and $5 apps. I think the argument of “If it was cheaper, people wouldn’t pirate it” has been disproven at this point.

  • colormedisappointed

    It’s like when someone steals your cell phone. They would have never bought one anyway, so it’s not a real theft. And if they’re actually using your phone it’s a win.

  • D83SING

    That’s because many people do not upgrade every year. Many professionals still use the older versions simply because it is good enough and they do not feel the need to shell out a bunch of money every year for the latest and greatest “new” features. So for those people they would be f’d too? There are free/cheap alternatives out there that might not be as good, but for the price are a lot more worth it.
    No one HAS to pay for adobe products year after year, you do that by choice.

  • Guest

    Adobe is a monopoly. The fact that the DOJ is doing nothing about it means nothing. Now Adobe introduces a predatory pricing scheme with no alternative. This isn’t about how much per month.. it’s about why a company like Adobe who has no competition in several of the markets it competes in is allowed to do this?

  • Tom Allsup

    Good for the hackers. This new “rent only” policy in regard to adobe products is the biggest BS ever.

  • Theranthrope

    On the contrary… of what now?
    What you said in no way invalidated anything the parent post said.
    I’ll reiterate; According to the ELUA Adobe can stop the subscription of any licensed user, for any reason, or for no reason. However, that in no way will affect pirates using unlicensed cracked versions, only playing customers.
    Just like EA and Ubisoft in the game industry, with their repeated DRM debacles; the pirates with cracked versions of games receive a better experience, because DRM schemes only affect paying customers.

    …or people can switch to the GIMP (or Gimpshop) and be legal while not have to deal with ANY of this dammable foolishness.

  • Theranthrope

    No, it’s not.
    Unauthorized software use (piracy) is nothing like theft of actual physical objects (or like real piracy, on the high seas, for that matter).

    Your analogy is bad and you should feel bad.

  • Theranthrope

    Row row!

  • Theranthrope

    Bikes, from ANY company, are not infinitely copyable digital data made up of “1”s and “0”s. Conflating the two is foolish.

  • Theranthrope

    One word: GIMP

  • Theranthrope

    In the computer industry, we’ve seen it again and again: software monoculture is bad for everyone involved, including the monolithic software vendor taking advantage of said monoculture, because with no competition there’s no drive to advance technology, rather than just re-hashing the same thing in a new and prettier box, or to adapt to the users’ needs (or keep the “Good Idea Fairy” away from upper-management to prevent them from coming up with “good” ideas like: subscription software services).

    More people need to realize that there are better, free, choices where you don’t have to deal with tyrannical vendors like Adobe. If Adobe wants to “take their ball and go home” if you don’t thei subscription model… let them; use the GIMP (or Gimpshop, if you must) instead.

  • Theranthrope

    Which is totally different than the NSA backdoors coded into Windows and iOS

  • Regan Music

    On the contrary to “it will actually encourage piracy”. But thanks for your input…

  • Regan Music

    Do u honestly think adobe WILL be randomly cancelling people’s licenses for the hell of it?

  • Alex Vojacek

    The day Adobe removes it’s incredible stupid, awful validation and revalidation and tons of re-checks online for every time someone open the software, that will be the day when I will actually buy photoshop. For now, it’s all open source for me. Sometime this giants will understand that selling quality software with no limitations is a lot more profitable in the long run than actually making it’s customers feel like pirates.

    The current formula for software developers is, the customer is a pirate so we must do this checks. You see the problem?, the PAYING customers are PAYING for a software that does hundreads of checks in their system, has a draconian DRM in their machines to verify they are not pirates, while the non-customers use a cracked version free of such restrains?. Until this formula flip, they will have poor sales.

  • Alex Vojacek

    It is too expensive, make it like 9.99 and it will be useful, at that price is gonna be a no-go for the majority of people.

  • Alex Vojacek

    You live in an economic stable country it seems. For a lot of people, living in developing countries and places where 20 dollars is A LOT of money, this software is going to be out of their equation. Funny thing is, that being in a developing country does not make you an idiot or developing mind guy, you may probably be very good in what you do, but the country currency will be your limiting factor. It’s expensive, in my country this kind of money is actually half your entire salary so, please tell me how that will be cheap?

  • Adam

    Sure, if you only need it for a month, it’s great, but otherwise, it’s only $240 a year, which means that in less than three years, you are paying more for your subscription than you would for CS6.

    How many people use software longer than three years before upgrading? Especially when the software is as expensive as anything in the adobe suite? This is a way to force people to pay for upgrades that they otherwise wouldn’t buy. They want to increase profits from customers that are already paying, not stop piracy.

    If they really wanted to stop piracy, Photoshop wouldn’t be over $600 retail.

  • Adam

    Gimp is free

  • Adam

    What the hell bar do you go to that the cheap beer is $5

  • Adam

    And you are in the minority of adobe users. Most people don’t buy new versions every year. Hell, how many people are still using old versions of IE which is free to upgrade.

    This is a plan by adobe to turn customers that don’t upgrade every year into customers that do.

  • Dave Laws

    The problem is Shantanu Narayen he is the CEO of Adobe and an Indian. That should explain it all. As soon as I herd Adobe lowered themselves to hiring an Indian CEO I stopped buying Adobe products and now get them via Torrents. Indians are the dirtiest people in the world and I ant NOTHING to do with them.

  • Andréas Söderberg

    GIMP is not a serious alternative. It’s still 10+ years behind Photoshop and the UI must be one of the worst jokes in the history of Graphical User Interfaces.