February 15th, 2002, 12:10 AM
Legit XP Activation Codes, Keygen introduced.
The was posted on The Registers site. I find it very interesting. Not in the fact of a keygen. I think we all new this would come. But read on to the 4th paragraph about what they can do to your computer if you have a non-registered or pirate version. Sounds like Big Brother to me.
Keygen routine producing valid WinXP product keys?
By John Lettice
Posted: 14/02/2002 at 13:19 GMT
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.
It sounds too good (well, depending on your outlook) to be true, but while forum operators are in general managing to keep a lid on people posting locations for the program, it seems clear from discussion threads on several of them that it is indeed producing keys that work. The keymaker first gained widespread publicity earlier this week at Heise.de, which tested it and says it generated 25 keys for XP Home overnight. Heise's report, in German, can be found here, while Neowin.net has a translation of the important bits here.
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.
-----------Read this paragraph--------------
Prior to the keymaker WPA had been cracked, although that rather depended on what you meant by the word; as Microsoft has heroically argued, being pirated wholesale and being cracked are in fact two different things. Philosphically, anyway. Patched versions swiftly became available when the software went gold, but essentially these can be termed unauthorised distributions/variants of the software, and although it means people can get it for free, Microsoft has the capability of zapping their installations as a side-effect of service packs and similar. As yet the company doesn't seem to have used Windows Update to deactivate warez systems, but it's possible.
-----------How you like them apples? What else could they do with this technology or even third parties or kiddies that may get a hold of this?-------------------------------
The other major circumvention of WPA is via leaked keys for corporate versions, which are unlocked simply by entering the key, rather than it being necessary to activate over the Internet or by phone. Again, Microsoft can invalidate these keys at service pack time, and it has done so at least once in the past.
So the question as regards keymaking software is whether or not Microsoft has any way to differentiate between generated keys and the ones it has issued itself. If not, this generation of WPA is now surely toast. ®
The COOKIE TUX lives!!!!
Windows NT crashed,I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
February 15th, 2002, 12:12 AM
It's toast and M$ knows it already.
Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
- Samuel Johnson
February 15th, 2002, 12:22 AM
They're not going to try something like that, most of the cracked versions were originally created by microsoft themselves for their larger customers. AOL, the only one I know first hand about, is going migrate to xp and they requested a copy without the licensing restrictions. I know alot of these cracking groups like to take claim to having done it, but it's probably just a bootleg copy from the version they created for AOL or one of their other "important" customers. I don't think they're going to shut down all of AOL's machines with a service pack...
Living life one line of error free code at a time.
February 15th, 2002, 01:13 AM
I read something about it at Slashdot. I never expected the activation code scheme to last long. It is in my belief that anything based on numbers can be cracked.