Microsoft Updates Vista To Block 'Frankenbuild' Counterfeits - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
12/14/2006
02:46 PM
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Microsoft Updates Vista To Block 'Frankenbuild' Counterfeits

The move was prompted by the appearance of DVD counterfeits of Windows Vista in various parts of the world, including Brazil.

Microsoft on Thursday responded to hacks that break Windows Vista's antipiracy protection by issuing an update that essentially kills some of the counterfeit copies.

"In the event illegal workarounds or other counterfeit Windows Vista code are posted to the Internet or become available through other means, Microsoft will take appropriate action to protect users from the risks of using counterfeit copies and to protect its intellectual property," the company said Thursday in a statement.

The move was prompted by the appearance of DVD counterfeits in what the company described as "various parts of the world," including Brazil. The counterfeit, which Microsoft engineers have dubbed "frankenbuild," sidesteps Vista's activation by cobbling an operating system from files drawn from both this fall's Release Candidate (RC) and November's Release To Manufacturing (RTM) versions.

Microsoft has issued an update to Vista via Windows Update that detects the frankenbuild counterfeit, then demands a valid activation key.

"Windows Vista will use the new Windows Update client to require only the 'frankenbuild' systems to go through a genuine validation check," said Alex Kochis of the Windows Genuine Advantage team on the group's blog. "These systems will fail that check because we have blocked the RC keys for systems not authorized to use them. In other words, the wrong key is being used.

"The systems will then be flagged as non-genuine systems and the experience will be what we announced back in October, including losing certain functionality, and the system will have 30 days to activate with a good product key," Kochis added.

In October, Microsoft spelled out Vista's copy protection scheme, which blends product activation and Windows validation. Under the new plan, called Software Protection Platform, copies of Vista that don't activate with a legitimate product key within 30 days drop into a reduced functionality mode, which lets the user run only the default browser, and then only for an hour at a time. Some analysts have tagged the new activation process as giving Microsoft the ability to set a "kill bit" that makes Vista unusable.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
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
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
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