March 01, 2007
A(nother) Vista Cracking Program

The Inquirer has a look at a program that allows you to crack Vista activation by brute force.

The method of attack has got to be quite troubling for MS on many grounds. The crack is a glorified guesser, and with the speed of modern PCs and the number of outstanding keys, the 25-digit serials are within range. The biggest problem for MS? If this gets widespread, and I hope it will, people will start activating legit keys that are owned by other people.

I'm not sure how I feel about this... on one hand I'm a cheap bastard and admit that part of my not upgrading to Vista (which is attractive to me for some reason, though the love is fading with the various horror stories surfacing with nVidia driver issues, performance being bogged down by antivirus, etc) is due to it being harder to get a "clean" pirate version where it doesn't expire, WGA works, etc. MS did a fairly good job of protecting it, though there are some timer / clock hacks around (invalidated as soon as you run an update of course). On the other hand, if/when I shell out my $100 for a legit copy of Vista, and I get told I'm a stinking dirty pirate because someone's brute force hack has grabbed my activation key, I'd be pissed off, even if it is solved with a simple phone call.

If this starts happening in force do you think that...

  • a) MS will realize the error of their ways and discontinue WGA and activation or....
  • b) They will create even more invasive procedures to determine who is a dirty stinking pirate or not

My vote is on plan B myself.

Posted by Arcterex at March 01, 2007 04:25 PM