Feeds

Hackers in keyless Windows 7 entry

Crack skirts MS code

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Hackers have found a way to bypass product activation in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to get free and illegal copies of Microsoft's latest operating systems.

The hack, according to My Digial Life, means you can get Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 without the need for a product activation key.

The crack apparently mirrors a similar breach in Windows Vista that was foiled by a Microsoft software update.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Reg: "We're aware of this workaround and are already working to address it."

The company advised customers to avoid using illegal copies of Windows and to check their software is genuine, warning rogue software often contained malware.

Earlier this year, an OEM Windows 7 Ultimate product key was posted to a Chinese forum. The key worked on machines from Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and MSI. It would let you bypass Windows Genuine Advantage to potentially unlock multiple copies of Windows 7 Ultimate.

My Digital Life said the fresh hack nullifies the sppcompai.dll thereby passing product activation and licensing in the Windows Activation Technologies' (WAT) Software Protection Platform (SPP) and Software Licensing Client (SLC).

Hackers have also devised tools that turn off any pop-ups or reminders that say the system has not been registered or the trial period has expired.

The hack has been blamed on Microsoft creating a system designed to give users plenty of opportunities to enter their details in case they make mistakes. "The crack is possible probably due to leniency allowed on the part of Microsoft on [the] activation mechanism to avoid getting too many false-positive or complaint on activation error [sic]," My Digital Life wrote. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.