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M$ throwing in the towel?

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Microsoft

Barely a fortnight after hackers got into its new anti-piracy program, Microsoft says it has gone back to the drawing board in its efforts to crack down on users of pirated copies of Windows XP downloading free updates.

A few months back, Microsoft unveiled a way of establishing whether users accessing free downloads had a genuine copy of Windows. However, those with pirated copies were not prevented from downloading updates.

Then late last month, Microsoft announced new restrictions, in the form of the program Windows Genuine Advantage. When a user began downloading updates, WGA scanned the PC to see if it had a genuine licence key.

But barely 24 hours after the announcement, simple code to bypass the check - a line of Javascript - was posted on the internet.
Within a week, two more methods had been posted to different sites.

A Microsoft spokesman said it was important to note that the issue was not a security vulnerability and customers were not at risk.

He said WGA was not designed to catch counterfeiters or prevent hacks. "Its intent is to help innocent customers realise the full value of authentic Windows software while protecting investments made by our partners."

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