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PKV is an implementation of Partial Key Verification in Go

by Markus Mahlberg

v1.0.2 (see all)License:Apache-2.0
go get

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PKV – Partial Key Verification

PKV is an implementation of the Partial Key Verification pattern for product keys as described by Brandon Stagg in "Implementing a Partial Serial Number Verification System in Delphi" for the Go programming language.

Contrary to Brandon's example, it offers variable matrixes. Those matrices are generated using secure cryprographic random number generators.

PKV comes as a command line tool which generates go code to include in your application offering functions to verify the chosen portion and the checksum of the key.

State of project

The project is in a very early stage. Almost all of the documentation is lacking, as are most unit tests. The API most likely will change.

For that reason, make sure that you only use a versioned import, as described below

However, it works as intended.

How it works

Basically, each product key generated with pkv consists of a public seed, four key parts and a checksum. The idea behing PKV is that only one of those four key parts is checked wether it is valid to make it easier for the developer to mitigate a successful crack. A cracker can only create a key generator for the checked key part. For the next release, simply change the key part checked and the according generators and/or patches will not work any more, but all keys issued by you will still be valid. This will not eliminate problems or losses, but reduce them.


go get -u ""

This installs the package (which is not so interesting) and the command line tool, which is the primary tool you will work with.


Please NEVER include the package "" into your software unless you write a key generator.

Use the pkv.v1 command line tool inside your package directory.

  1. Call pkv.v1 init. This creates a file named pkv.key with key parameters used to generate the actual product keys. Never, ever make this file publicly available!
  2. Call pkv.v1 gencode -k [1-4]. The flag denotes the key part to be checked. pkv.v1 will generate the necessary code in a subdirectory:
    └── internal
        ├── pkvcheck.go
        └── pkvtools.go 
  1. Import the package inside your code with an absolute import and check the product key:

    package main
    import (
    func main() {
    var key       string = getKeyFromSomewhere()
    var blacklist []uint64 = loadBlacklistFromServer()
    if err := internal.KeyChecksum(key); err != nil {
        fmt.Println("Key checksum verification failed.")
        fmt.Println("Possibly an error during entering the product key")
    if err := internal.Key(key, blacklist); err != nil {
        fmt.Println("Key verification failed.")
        fmt.Println("Possibly a tampered or backlisted key.")
  2. To generate a key, simply call pkv.v1 genkey -s 123456. The value for -s is called seed and identifies the generated key uniquely. Furthermore, this is the value you need to blacklist a product key. So make sure you keep track of the seed you used for generating a product key for a user! The combination of pkv.key and the seed can be used to regenerate a key.

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