Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Exploit Allows Windows XP Piracy

Filed under
Microsoft

There's a major chink in Microsoft's Windows XP anti-piracy armor, although Windows users are not at risk of security attacks.

A security researcher in India has discovered an uncomplicated and easy-to-exploit weakness in Microsoft Corp.'s WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage), an anti-piracy initiative that checks whether consumer and small-business customers are running legitimately licensed copies of Windows XP.

Debasis Mohanty, a private vulnerability researcher and analyst of malicious programs, published a detailed proof-of-concept demonstration to show how the WGA validation check can be defeated to generate key codes for use on illegal copies of Windows XP.

Mohanty's findings come as the world's largest software maker prepares a mandatory rollout of the program.

Microsoft has been testing the Genuine Advantage program through its Download Center, where users are urged to validate their copies of XP before obtaining certain software updates, patches and fixes.

If users decide against validating, they are still allowed to obtain the requested downloads, but later this summer updates will only be pushed out to valid copies. Security updates will not require validation, even after WGA goes mandatory.

A Microsoft spokesperson on Monday confirmed Mohanty's findings but insisted that the weakness presented no real threat to the company's attempts to strangle software pirates.

The spokesperson said there were no plans to modify the way WGA works, even after Mohanty's public demonstration, which was posted on a high-profile security mailing list.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu Developers Working on Feature Parity for Unity 8 - Video

A large part of the work that's been done for Unity 8 is focused on making it looks and feel like Unity 7. Canonical is not trying to reinvent Unity; it's rewriting it for the future. Read more

GPS Navigation for Ubuntu Touch Gets More Features

GPS Navigation is a free app for Ubuntu Touch, and it's been getting constant updates for the past few weeks. It's still in the development stages, but it looks like it's coming together just nicely. Read more

Next Tizen Smartphone, Samsung Z3 SM-Z300H, Imported to india for Testing

The Samsung Z3 SM-Z300H is going to be the second Tizen based Smartphone to begin testing in India and hopefully final release. We Initially reported on the existence of the Z3 with Sammobile confirming it will be the next Tizen mobile phone to be released. Now our friends at Best Tizen Apps have noticed a shipment of a few “SM-Z300H” Smartphones making the journey from Korea to Bangalore India, reported for testing purposes. The phone is shipped as costing $205 USD per unit around 13,039 INR, but this is more of a speculated price and does not reflect final retail pricing. Read more

It's Now Easier Managing Systemd In KDE

For those running KDE on a systemd-based Linux system, the KDE Control Module for controlling this init system and its options has been updated. Read more