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Windows Trojan masquerades as Vista hack

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A week after Windows Vista's official launch hackers have devised their first attack, targeting pirates trying to install illegal copies of Microsoft's operating system.

A supposed Windows Vista crack called Windows Vista All Versions Activation 21.11.06 is reportedly doing the rounds, offering those tempted by the chance of sticking it to Microsoft the ability to install illegal versions of Windows Vista.

However, the software is not a Windows Vista crack and pirates get something they didn't expect - installation of a Trojan called PSW.Win32.LdPinch.aze - something with a "high" threat level.

Apparently, most anti-virus scanners can recognise the Trojan, but NOD32 and the latest software from Norton won't.

The installer follows in the footsteps of a Windows XP hack circulated by the devils0wn group in 2001, which allowed users to bypass product activation of Windows XP.

Windows Vista is currently available for download only to customers on Microsoft's volume licensing deals and won't become generally available until January. The Trojan would therefore likely hit certain business users and those working in businesses passing on copies to friends, family, or colleagues.

Worryingly for business users in general, though, is the fact the Windows Vista DVD has been designed to make it easy for third parties' software to be inserted with the operating system for mass distribution. That potentially lets hackers insert their code just as easily as Microsoft partners. ®

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