February 14th, 2002, 01:59 PM
Cracking system for Windows Product Activation
seen on theregister
A cracking system for Windows Product Activation publicised this week may present Microsoft's anti-piracy system with its most serious problem yet. It takes the form of a key generator which appears to produce valid activation keys for Microsoft products, and if this really is the case, it is difficult to see how Microsoft can differentiate between keys issued with legal product, and keys generated by the keymaker.
Judging by the time taken to generate keys there's a significant amount of crunching going on, but on the other hand as this is precisely the sort of thing Microsoft must have anticipated when it devised WPA, it's not nearly as much crunching as you'd expect. If one morally questionable teenie can successfully generate one operational key by leaving their home PC running overnight, then Redmond has quite clearly blundered. 25 in a night counts as blundering big-time.