Microsoft Windows Advantage validation cracked in under 24 hours
This is not the first time that the security around Windows Advantage has been compromised. Several months ago while the system was still in beta, a security researcher Debasis Mohanty in India found that the validation tool could be fooled into believing the copy of Windows had already been checked as genuine.
The Windows Genuine Advantage system, which was officially launched last week after months of testing, is intended to weed out the bootleg copies of Windows from the official ones.
By offering ‘free’ software and upgrades worth, by Microsoft’s estimation, around $450, only to those copies of Windows which passed a validation test, Microsoft was hoping to not only reward those customers who had paid for their software but to encourage those running pirate copies to buy the real thing. The only exceptions being security upgrades that are available to all Windows users.
Piracy is a serious issue to Microsoft, particularly in the far east where it is endemic. In a speech last week, Steve Ballmer noted that piracy levels in China were well over 90 per cent.