Feeds

Oops! Leaked WinXP code contains valid product key

Very helpful of the good people in Redmond...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The latest WinXP RC1 leak makes the security of Microsoft's preview program download look feeble enough, but it turns out there's more - somebody seems to have left a working product key not very deeply buried in the iso. Naturally that product key will cease to work for Product Activation just as soon as Microsoft realises what happened (which is around now), but it does mean that anybody who got to the unauthorised download link has the capability to install the software.

Then they can either just run it for two weeks until it times out, or hunt around until they find a crack that'll do service. Alternatively, if they're really quick and Microsoft doesn't already have the key on the death list, it may do service for a couple more hours.

The key itself is in a sample unattended install file that ships with the preview program edition. Almost all of the data has been replaced by generic entries, but it looks like somebody slipped up when it came to the key.

Back at the leakface, RC1 leak two has now been plugged; it's possible that Conxion has done this via some means other than changing the filename, but don't count on it. Our sources, however, claim that there's already a third route to free RC1 - we'll attempt to confirm that later in the day.

One source puts forward a plausible explanation for Microsoft's and Conxion's embarrassment; he blames Microsoft's download manager. This, he claims, doesn't retain any username/password combinations. "It is just queued files for download." So if you hit on the right filename to pass to the download manager, you ought to be able to get a free copy of anything that uses this procedure. The system's used for beta programs, and for MSDN, the latter being the developer program which gives you early access to practically all code in exchange for a whacking annual subscription.

If our source's theory is correct, Microsoft could therefore have a whacking security problem on its hands... ®

Related Stories

New MS-Conxion leak allows WinXP RC1 free download
WinXP RC1download leak is Preview Program code

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.