Feeds

Vista volume activation cracked

DIY kit dumbs down piracy

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Updated Pirates have succeeded in making cracking, rather than simply circumventing, Windows Vista product activation easier than ever before.

A crack from pirate group Pantheon allows pirated Vista installations to be activated and made fully operational. The approach avoids reliance on beta activation or time stamp hacks, instead concentrating on flaws in the volume activation process.

Pantheon's approach piggybacks on the volume license activation process used by Redmond's tier-one OEMs such as HP, Dell, and ASUS. In order to minimise support calls (and user inconvenience), Microsoft allows preferred partners to pre-install versions of Vista that don't require activation.

This System-Locked Pre-Installation 2.0 scheme allows OEMs to embed specific licensing information into the OS so the product can be activated without been verified by Microsoft.

Pirates have come up with a software bundle that includes certificate files from ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo along with OEM product keys for Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate. It also comes with a BIOS driver that allows certificate information from (for example) HP to be installed on any suitably powerful machine, regardless of manufacturer.

Australia's APC magazine reports that the crack works, allowing machines running pirated copies of Vista to pass Windows Genuine Advantage checks. ®

Bootnote

Thanks for all the comments. We realize this crack is a year old, but it still works and won't be thwarted until the release of Vista SP1.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.