Hackers bypass Windows 7 activation

Hackers bypass Windows 7 activation

Summary: Hackers have managed to find a way around one of the key antipiracy protections built into Windows 7.

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Hackers have managed to find a way around one of the key antipiracy protections built into Windows 7.

Ordinarily, the operating system requires users to activate their copy of Windows 7 within 30 days. However, a recently outlined method allows the normal notifications to be turned off.

The software doesn't actually get confirmed as legitimate, but users are able to keep using the product indefinitely.

Microsoft confirmed on Friday it is aware of the technique, but said that it is working to shore up the activation procedure.

For more, read "Hackers bypass Windows 7 activation " on CNET News.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Piracy, Security, Software, Windows

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63 comments
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  • And just like with Vista

    Microsoft will kill the hack with an update. At which
    point the background will go black and will display a
    message stating that "this is not a genuine Windows
    installation" and that you may be the victim of
    software counterfeiting.

    Seriously, if anyone is so cheap that they don't want
    to pay for software they use, they should just go with
    Linux or another free operating system.

    honeymonster
    • And also...

      As with Vista on back, people think they bought a real copy only to find out that they haven't. There are plenty of that sort around that'll screw the regular guy.

      One would have thought that activation was a thing they could have got right after all this time.
      zkiwi
      • No, people who are doing this are not...

        so foolish as to think they are buying legit software. If you buy software and you receive a piece of paper telling you "do not use the computer's activation, instead follow these steps", then you deserve to be "taken".

        The only people I feel bad for are the ones who buy a new computer from "the business on the corner" and the software is already hacked by the builder.

        The ones who are doing this are trying to circumvent the activation, it is not simply double clicking a file. It is not grandma & grandpa who don't know any better.
        riveroad
    • Not everyone wants somethng for nothing

      I just want an OS without a built in kill switch. I'm perfectly willing to pay for Windows (as long as it isn't Vista). Although the Microsoft monopoly means that it is unquestionably overpriced.

      I've already been burned by Microsoft marking an XP computer as not "genuine". Even though it was a name brand, purchased used from a reliable source and with a COA sticker on the case. What they told me was that I would have to pay more than the system cost me to make it 'legitimate'. No thanks. Admittedly, the effects are far more innocuous than it was previously. But only because of the heat Microsoft has been getting from false WGA notifications. And of course that could change at any time.

      So why would I risk it with Windows 7? Once burned, twice shy. And I'm just the type to tinker with my computer (legally) in a way that would trigger WGA.

      I haven't really seen anything yet that would make me really want 7. I've always gone my own way with the interface and security and have yet to have any [i][b]significant[/i][/b] problems (it is [i]Windows[/i], after all). I expect that there will be things that I will want at some point (like 64 bit and support for GPU encoding, mostly). But I can live without it, especially for the foreseeable future.

      So Microsoft can keep its activated products. I'll find other options.
      mdsock@...
    • They'll be other hacks...

      Not even M$ is invincible. ;)
      Wintel BSOD
  • check this...exploit that can't be fixed.

    http://crenk.com/windows-7-exploit-causes-bsod/

    and this is awhile ago when MS promised to patch this but didn't until today

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9127392/Microsoft_changes_Windows_7_UAC_after_new_exploit_code_surfaces?taxonomyId=17&pageNumber=1
    ljenux-23043766007667558234416105604265
    • Both of those were fixed before retail launch

      The SMB exploit and the UAC issues were fixed
      before the October retail launch. I remember them.
      Maybe you should read the dates on the articles
      you link to - neither one of them are recent
      articles.
      CobraA1
    • FUD alert

      1. The new exploit is only possible by someone on your LAN network. I suppose you may be popular/important enough to warrant such an attack. The rest of us can sleep easy.

      2. Second article linked has nothing to do with the first. In fact, it describes a similar, but different bug that was patched in FEBRUARY of 2009. I don't know where you get 'today' from, but it wasn't the linked articles

      3. Since #2 has nothing to do with #1, and this exploit is relatively new, nothing supports your implication that its a 'scary unpatchable exploit'.

      In conclusion, you sir have a very strong and obvious bias against MS that is unsupported by fact. Could you possibly be mis-directing your feelings of anger at a corporation instead of at the root cause of said feelings?


      "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
      gnesterenko
    • You really are not too good at this.

      If you are going to troll, at least do it without making yourself look too foolish.
      GuidingLight
      • How could he do that?

        No one will be able to look too foolish when you're around.
        The Mentalist
        • But you make them ALL look like rocket scientists, -3. (nt)

          nt
          Hallowed are the Ori
        • mental

          moron
          scruff40
  • *yawn*

    *yawn* yeah the hackers always figure out a way around
    it.
    CobraA1
    • That's right

      That's what hackers are for.
      Wintel BSOD
  • RE: Hackers bypass Windows 7 activation

    I have to admit, I hate the activating process. And I have just received Windows 7 32-bit and Windows 7 64-bit DVDs free, from Microsoft.

    I tend to zap my hard disks every six months and reload Windows afresh. I always get problems after a few times.

    I use Windows for reviewing software, but on my proper computer I am using Ubuntu 9.10.
    ampers@...
    • My thoughts . . .

      "I have to admit, I hate the activating
      process"

      In Windows 7, it just tells you it activated
      itself. You're not even involved in the
      activation process unless it fails for some
      reason. I haven't had a failed activation yet,
      so I can't tell you what happens.

      "I tend to zap my hard disks every six months
      and reload Windows afresh. I always get
      problems after a few times."

      My computer has been running for years since
      Vista's launch, and has been running Windows 7
      since the retail release. Works fine.

      "I use Windows for reviewing software, but on
      my proper computer I am using Ubuntu 9.10."

      I run Window on my main computer and play
      around with Ubuntu in a VM. Don't really see
      the appeal of Linux, but I suppose it works for
      some people.

      If Internet is important, I'd probably
      recommend Windows 7 plus Google Chrome. Chrome
      is a really fast browser, and currently only
      for Windows. It'll be ported to other platforms
      soon, though. The Mac would also be a good
      platform to recommend.

      On Windows 7, though, which seems to have
      improved multitasking a great deal over Vista
      and XP, Google Chrome really shines! It's
      perfect, even with many tabs and Windows open.
      It never seems to slow down.

      Linux is okay, but - the arguments against
      Windows are getting thinner, and frankly I'd
      put somebody on a Mac before I'd put them on
      Linux.

      Linux usability is much improved, but the
      claims that is's every bit as usable as Windows
      or Mac are a bit exaggerated. Certainly with a
      lot of customization and tweaking you can get
      it there, but why not choose an OS that doesn't
      need all that tweaking just to be user
      friendly?
      CobraA1
      • Why Windows you ask ...

        "why not choose an OS that doesn't
        need all that tweaking just to be user
        friendly?"

        I'll give you two big reasons:
        1) security (from the ground up, Linux is more secure, not perfect, but definitely more secuyre)
        2) price ($0 for Linux EVER! and $100-300 every 2-5 years for Windows)

        Also, are you telling me you don't tweak Windows? I think I'll have to call that bluff!
        TheRealUMLGuy
        • Define "big."

          "I'll give you two big reasons"

          Define "big."

          "security (from the ground up, Linux is more
          secure, not perfect, but definitely more
          secuyre)"

          Frankly, UAC makes Windows every bit as secure
          as Linux. And frankly, most users just want
          "good enough" security.

          I haven't had a security breach in years.

          "2) price"

          That's probably a reason why people
          [i]aren't[/i] flocking to Linux. Like it or
          not, price is often equated with quality and
          value. Whether reality is different or not -
          well, doesn't really matter that much.

          When it comes to buying, perception often
          counts more than reality.

          To be honest? These reasons simply aren't big
          enough. If they [b]REALLY[/b] were "big"
          reasons, people would be flocking to Linux. But
          that's not happening.

          "Also, are you telling me you don't tweak
          Windows?"

          Not by playing around with text files and
          scripts. And I'm perfectly fine sitting in
          front of any new Windows PC and using it. I
          stopped making major changes to OSes a long
          time ago and am perfectly happy with only minor
          tweaks.

          Tweaking an OS shouldn't be a full time job.
          CobraA1
        • I guess they don't call using antimalware tweaking

          You don't have to tweak Windows. But, you have to install anti-virus, firewalls, anti-spyware, and search for security updates to all the third party software you install on your own.

          The major and most minor Linux distributions maintain their own repositories which send out updates for everything you install using the distro's repositories. The only tweaking I had to do on my Linux machines was to run alsaconf to get the audio onboard chips to work on my 11 year old Compaq. I dual boot the RC of Windows 7, both 32 and 64 bit for the few Windows-only apps I need. Except for that, Ubuntu 9.04 and Vector 6 handles my needs. When the Win 7 RC expires, I'll go back to XP for my windows.

          I guess it is a matter of using what works for your individual requirements.

          Paul
          pfyearwood
          • Not really.

            Not really, some of that stuff is built in, and
            a lot of stuff is free. Everything is
            automatic. Nope, don't even really have to
            tweak that.

            It's pretty much all about workflow, and that's
            improved a lot in Win7. Aero Snap makes drag
            and drop stuff pretty easy. The Start menu has
            been a single keystroke for ages (Why do I have
            to reconfig Linux to have a single keystroke
            menu?). I can see what's going on in other apps
            with a hover. It all seems pretty fluid and
            fast.

            I suppose those things can be done in Linux,
            with although with varying degrees of tinkering
            required. I'd rather have all of the helpful
            stuff on by default rather than have to tinker
            around to get it.
            CobraA1