July 23rd, 2002 08:03 AM
Sad news for the XP warez world
Looks like MS has gotten pretty aggressive in the war to stop MS warez. Take a look at this.
It's the price they pay for giving the average user so much grief, i.e ME! I don't use XP corporate yet, but I plan to in the near future, for IIS 5. This feature seems like a good idea for MS but extremely annoying for corporate users who have to deal with this.
Microsoft is planning what could end up being quite a shock for the Windows XP warez world, and what currently looks to be one of the most amazing moves made by Microsoft since Windows Product Activation was introduced.
Currently, Microsoft is in the works of completely rewriting the algorithm for the way Windows XP Corporate keys are generated, and is rewriting the code for Windows XP to recognize this new algorithm. This new code will be an added ‘feature’ of Service Pack 1 due out later this year.
At the present moment, an upgrade to Windows XP SP1 from Windows XP with no SP installation will not give any problems or errors about an invalid CD-Key on a corporate version of Windows XP. This is because the new algorithm feature has been switched off in SP1 upgrades. To get to see this new feature, you would have to slipstream SP1 into the Windows XP installation media and setup Windows. Once you’ve reached the CD-key, no current Corporate Windows XP key (none of the 75 that we’ve tried) will work, as they are all invalid. Even if a corporate key is managed to be found, the chances of it working when SP1 final comes out are slim to none, as Microsoft is rumored to ‘still be working on the algorithm for SP1 for Corporate customers’.
So why is Microsoft keeping this a secret? To put it mildly, they are a bit perturbed that warezers have been able to exploit the corporate edition of Windows XP to completely bypass WPA. They are planning to keep it a complete surprise until SP1 final has been released and shut down as many warez users from using Windows XP as possible. They know if it’s made widely known what they are planning, nobody will upgrade to SP1 until an appropriate patch has been made.
I'm sure a crack for SP1 will be made shortly after its release. Not saying that MS isn't doing a good job, but there are tons of people who love to screw over MS, can't say I blame them, though I don't completely condone warez, I do enjoy seeing a company that releases software with holes some script kiddies can find, somewhat disturbed by the amount of warez that exists of their products.
And as far as patches go, as far as we can guess right now the only patch that is going to work will be the ever popular "Reset" patch. If you slipstream a corporate version of Windows XP as you’re supposed to do, it will upgrade the algorithm. Note that the slipstream patches the DLL files which generate the CD keys, it doesn’t replace them. This is why you cannot slipstream a non corporate version of Windows XP and drop the corporate files in and expect the installation to work properly. Windows also checks for the DLL files version numbers and if they don’t match, errors will be created during install. It could be possible to find these DLL’s, replace the version numbers with those of SP1, and put them back into the installation media, but you’d also have to find a way to replicate the Microsoft signature on the DLL’s as well as the CAB files for setup to actually copy the files to the hard drive.
Geez, that would be rough. So if a small, local company, had a disgruntled worker who stole and published their key, then MS would sue the company? Seems awful wrong to me.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this is that the current Corporate users of Windows XP are going to have to get a new CD-key reissued for their versions of Windows with SP1. Microsoft has decided that the cost of current corporate customers having to get a new CD-key is less that what they are losing in the market of Windows XP being distributed as a corporate installation amongst warez users. Microsoft is also planning to warn those with corporate editions of Windows XP to not let the CD-keys slip into the mainstream. The EULA is going to be rewritten to fit a new type of ‘Corporate release’ and it’s been rumored that if a customers key is to get into the market, Microsoft may take legal action against those consumers.
So I have to watch my XP all day to make sure it doesn't dial some 1-800 number? How would a cable/dsl user protect against that. That feature, if included would be extremely disturbing, I hope that somebody gets a patch out for that pronto. I don't care what they claim it will transmit, I don't trust anybody, and that policy usually works well, but if I can't trust my computer, well, then what do I do? I can't babysit it all day, maybe a new job will be created, computersitter. People who do nothing but watch a computer to make sure it doesn't give MS any info. I wouldn't mind being one of those, if the pay was good.
Another rumor that is running rounds at Redmond is that Microsoft may actually include a type of “Phone home” feature in the corporate versions of Windows XP only. This feature would connect to a Microsoft server upon connection and deliver the IP address of the connected computer and what the Installation ID is. Before privacy advocates begin screaming, realize that if Microsoft was to want to do this, they could very easily make provisions in the EULA that they (Microsoft) have included a feature that makes sure the Corporate edition of Windows XP is not installed on more computers than it’s contract is made out for, and the computers IP address and the Installation ID may be transmitted to a local Microsoft server thought 128-bit encryption. No more information would be transmitted to the servers, and for more information, see the Microsoft Privacy Statement. It’s a possibility, as corporate versions of Windows aren’t exactly tailored for use by home and everyday users, so the EULA could very well be expanded to include such a feature.
Too true, it is one feature we could all do without. But one MS says we will have nonetheless, truly annoying. I hope the decide on something a little less, well, disturbing. Maybe something that is a little less active. Something that will let users opt-out of that phone home feature. The article, though I posted it all, can be found at http://www.betaone.net/archives/00000060.php
As far as activation goes on a legal copy of Windows XP, we slipstreamed our copy and it installed and activated without any problems. The algorithm for normal customers will stay the same apparently. So far, only the corporate version of XP gets the new revamped algorithm feature. It’s one less feature I can do without personally
July 23rd, 2002 08:13 AM
I think that, although this will put a severe block on Windows XP warez (for now... they'll find a way around it...), it's a good idea. I'm not defending the WPA feature that Microsoft has in place... I dislike it as much as anyone else, but you have to admit, it's a good system to prevent pirating. I just wish they were willing to allow individuals to install it upon more than one computer in a household, because I've been forced to buy a total of 3 separate editions of XP Pro over the past 9 months.
EDIT: SumDumGuy first brought this up here, during a discussion of Microsoft possibly searching for illegal software on an indivdual's computer and disabling it.
July 23rd, 2002 08:18 AM
Yeah, it is a good system. I have to say, they do some good stuff to protect themselves. Here is something I got from usenet
The second part is a reply to the first part. Looks like people are already trying to find way around this new feature.
Hmm PID s too. well I don't know about that. I just know the keygen makes
> keys for every flavour of XP so you have to choose the right one. I have
> successfully changed my key and applied sp1 to one machine and have been
> unsuccessful on another and I don't know why either ? I just followed the
> instructions both times. sorry I cant be of more help there
I've done two by doing a fresh load of XP Corp, then changing the key, then
applying the SP1
July 23rd, 2002 08:21 AM
Well fact is the Warez community brought all of this down on everyone. All business work their butts off to make sure they comply as best they can while M$ and others release software at a rate most business cannot react and shange their EULA's on any of their whim unless you have a legal dept behind you. I've not touched XP I sick of it at work and at home I buy my software always have and will but in business to even re-config and re-use a computer is a complex license mess all caused by a few in the warez community and I pay the price becuase I buy the software why should I suffer this crap I did nothing wrong. Even open source I'd pay for a ligit product and it's support it is why I buy it in the first place. Go after Warez but don't disable my system cause I changed 6 items of hardware.
I believe that one of the characteristics of the human race - possibly the one that is primarily responsible for its course of evolution - is that it has grown by creatively responding to failure.- Glen Seaborg
July 23rd, 2002 08:23 AM
The reason that they got it to work is actually Microsoft's doing, as described in the third paragraph of your original post, in the first quotation:
"At the present moment, an upgrade to Windows XP SP1 from Windows XP with no SP installation will not give any problems or errors about an invalid CD-Key on a corporate version of Windows XP. This is because the new algorithm feature has been switched off in SP1 upgrades."
July 23rd, 2002 08:48 AM
That post was by alittlebitnumb, I think you be confused adven And the thing about that, is it was just one key, this is something for all corporate users, MS has become very determined to stop the piracy of it's software. Too determined maybe. And I am seeing things, like tips on getting past the fix, and analysis of the patch online. It is funny, people already discussing this. I have seen cracks, though I don't know if they work, we'll have to see when and if a key to get past SP1 pops up in warez communities.
In a recent service pack for WindowsXP, it will not allow updates on pirated versions with the known blacklisted key (I think it was the DevilsOwn pirate group) and is stated here:
Microsoft's controversial Windows Product Activation (WPA) technology is also seeing two minor modifications in XP SP1, neither of which will affect any legitimate users. First, the company discovered that the majority of pirated XP copies out there are tied to single volume license product key. So Microsoft has alerted the company about the problem, changed their key, and disabled it for use after SP1. So anyone using this pirated key will be unable to upgrade to SP1 or any future updates via Windows Update, Sullivan said.
July 23rd, 2002 08:50 AM
I think it is unreasonable for MS to do this. Thanks to all the guys involved in warez, people with legit copies still have to suffer. Im not totally for warez, but when it comes to a company like microsoft, who is charging several hundred dollars for one copy of XP and is generating as much revenue as they are...I say screw them. Its just like metallica complaining about MP3s.
July 23rd, 2002 09:43 AM
Yup, not like they care though. I love the warez community, I got distros in warez chans so I can get all kinds of really old software. I don't usually try to ripoff companies, if I see a good product, then it deserves to be supported, and I'll buy it. But I love downloading old games, like asteroids, and atari2600 games, man, those are the coolest. Warez isn't all bad, sure they do force companies to increase software measures, but do you think that if companies had lax software protection that warez wouldn't pop up? Whenever somebody can get something for free, they'll try to, and if they can't, they'll get it legally and then give it to everybody else. That is just the way it goes unfortunately. And conveyor, both metallica and MS have the right to be pissed off, they work damn hard, and to have somebody give away all their work for free, well, quite simple it is an outrage. If you worked at MS and spent days and weeks and months of your life on an OS and then couldn't wait for it to be sold, imagine your disappointment when it turned out everybody was getting it for free. Metallica is even more helpless, because of the gnutella protocol makes it near impossible to crack down on illegal file sharing. Trust me, it is frustrating. I remember a company, that produced some software to help small business owners create graphics, they exploded, became famous, their software was a hit, but they barely made any money, because their software was pirated and available through the classifieds! People made codes to get it into the classifieds and sold it easily. Eventually the company went belly-up and had to shutdown. If that doesn't sway you I don't know what will.
Well fact is the Warez community brought all of this down on everyone
July 23rd, 2002 09:49 AM
well, i see a flaw in the whole 'give out your key and we sue you' deal.......... how are they going to give out the keys for the OS without having you sign a paper contract about the key before it gets issued to you......
will there be a whole enrollment oath and everything "i do so solemly swear, to uphold the morals and belifs of the microsoft EULA and none other, so help me god"?
i think itll be a bitch to get people to sign a contract for the keys even before they know if they agree to the EULA....... or mabee they will just make it all into a paper contract that you sign...... then you put in your (signed for and sworn in) cd key........ did anyone else notice this?
July 23rd, 2002 09:54 AM
I don't fully know, but I think you have to sign-up if you plan to buy for a corporation and then MS gives you the right to install XP on a certain number of machines. Please don't mention things like god, they change the topic of the thread.