Microsoft Investigates Reported Hack of Windows Authenticity Check - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
7/28/2005
04:47 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
CAO Discusses Their Roll & The Skills Needed to Do the Job
Jul 26, 2017
LWhat does a chief analytics officer do each day? To help us answer that question we welcome Dun & ...Read More>>

Microsoft Investigates Reported Hack of Windows Authenticity Check

A popular blog reports that Microsoft's online validation process for Windows has been hacked.

"Does it matter if your copy of Windows is genuine?" Microsoft asks, knowing full well the impact of illegally copied software on its bottom line. "Yes, if you want the confidence of knowing that your software is legitimate and fully supported. And only genuine Windows customers can receive product downloads, Windows updates, and special offers."

That was true yesterday, but today hackers have come up with a way to disable Microsoft's online validation check. As noted in popular blog Boing Boing and elsewhere, by pasting a single line of JavaScript code into their Web browsers during the Windows Genuine Advantage validation process, users of counterfeit copies of Microsoft Windows can bypass the authenticity test, enabling them to receive product downloads, Windows updates, and special offers, just like paying customers.

Also, a Slashdot thread on the subject suggested several readers had tried it for themselves successfully.

No doubt Microsoft will disable this hack shortly, if it hasn't already. "The hack as far as we can tell is not a security vulnerability nor does it put customers at risk," a Microsoft spokesman said. "We're investigating the claims now, and we're going to take action in response to those as appropriate."

The irony here is that the validation process relies on an ActiveX control, a small executable code package that users of Internet Explorer can download and run on their computers. Computer security organizations like the CERT Coordination Center have recommended disabling ActiveX as a way to defend against security flaws in Internet Explorer.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
The DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll