Microsoft looking to "shake hackers and crackers off Microsoft products"

Microsoft is looking to design new anti-hacking mechanisms and "hack detection" technologies for future Microsoft products according to a recent job posting.

The job posting, which has been removed (google cache), details a new opportunity in the Windows division for an individual to "help shake hackers and crackers off Microsoft products." The posting, spotted by Stephen Chapman, shows Microsoft is looking for an experienced software developer with relevant industry experience.

In Windows 7, if a copy is not genuine then users are notified their copy is not genuine and the desktop wallpaper is switched to a plain black desktop. Periodic reminders and a persistent desktop watermark will also remind users that their copy is not genuine. It's clear Microsoft wants to enhance its hacking detection for future versions of Windows to prevent activation exploits.

Microsoft has been involved in a cat and mouse game with pirates who successfully circumvent anti-piracy features of Microsoft products. Microsoft first introduced Windows Product Activation (WPA) within Windows XP. Hackers have since managed to break XP, Vista and Windows 7 activation technologies.  In February, Microsoft released a Windows Activation Technologies Update for Windows 7 that detects 70 known activation exploits. Windows 7 was first cracked and activated in July 2009, before it was even officially released. The bypass, involving a Lenovo master OEM key, was quickly blocked by Microsoft.

Earlier this month, Microsoft said it has sold over 90 million licenses of Windows 7. Analysts forecast that the company will hit 300 million licenses by the end of 2010. Microsoft is currently readying its first Service Pack for Windows 7. A beta version is expected in June with a public release in September this year.

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22 Comments

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They should just call up Ubisoft and ask how they did their DRM.

Mind you, nobody would be able to use Windows, but the problem would be solved!

Absurd headline. Once upon a time crackers were the bad guys and hackers were the good guys. At some point hackers were all in one. Sneakers portrayed that quite good. Probably Robert Redford's last fun movie.

PatrynXX said,
Absurd headline. Once upon a time crackers were the bad guys and hackers were the good guys. At some point hackers were all in one. Sneakers portrayed that quite good. Probably Robert Redford's last fun movie.

"Hacker" is now defined as anyone who does anything remotely questionable using a computer.

Just a quick editing note, you didn't hyperlink the "r" in this line "released a Windows Activation Technologies Update".

Does it count hack to install 3rd party themes ?

I think it's a shame we need to 'hack' windows to install theme made by the community.

LaP said,
Does it count hack to install 3rd party themes ?

I think it's a shame we need to 'hack' windows to install theme made by the community.

This isn't what they are referring to although it is kinda lame. Still, when I used XP I didn't mind the quick uxtheme patch. Since moving to Vista and then 7 I don't really bother skinning anymore. Skinning was something I resorted to in order to make XP look like something current.

Edited by neodorian, Mar 31 2010, 6:20pm :

neodorian said,

This isn't what they are referring to although it is kinda lame. Still, when I used XP I didn't mind the quick uxtheme patch. Since moving to Vista and then 7 I don't really bother skinning anymore. Skinning was something I resorted to in order to make XP look like something current.

I don't mind windows 7 look and don't really want to skin it. But i hated Vista black skin so much ...

MS, you want to get people off of hacked copies of your OS, try this....
Microsoft Windows 7, home version $99.00
Microsoft Windows 7, business version 110.00
Microsoft Windows 7, Ultimate version 120.00

Office 2010, any version 149.99

THAT would do it!

naap51stang said,
MS, you want to get people off of hacked copies of your OS, try this....
Microsoft Windows 7, home version $99.00
Microsoft Windows 7, business version 110.00
Microsoft Windows 7, Ultimate version 120.00

Office 2010, any version 149.99

THAT would do it!

Hey you have alternatives....

Linux Any Edition ..... Free
OpenOffice .... Free
IBM Lotus Symphony .... Free

You also have Mac, countless other open source software, and OEM Windows Pricing. Stop blaming Microsoft just because YOU think something is overpriced, when there are perfectly fine, FREE alternatives.

I swear I think people just pirate software just to say that have it, or to say they did it. Any person with common sense would just suck it up or use open source.

It should be possible. I have seen apps that are no cracks for or some that do not allow full functionality - Stardock products and Assassins creed game.

It`s the people who buy pc`s thinking they have a legit OS on them, only to later find out their Windows is a pirated version. You got to feel sorry for them as they bought (most of the time) in good faith...
The hackers are normally one step ahead all the time though.

The bypass, involving a Lenovo master OEM key, was quickly blocked by Microsoft.

It should be noted that while the Lenovo master OEM key in question was blocked, the activation bypass it used was not, even with the recent WAT update.

/- Razorfold said,

=/ Don't see it


I think linking straight to pre-update posts is broken; no anchor tags. Maybe this works:
http://www.neowin.net/forum/uploads/post-7-1068428160.jpg

Anyway, I think most of WGA's efforts aren't aimed at converting 100% of pirates to paying customers. Its biggest goal for Microsoft is to let them hunt down small-scale businesses that install cracked versions of Windows onto customer's machines, and then pass it off as licensed software.

Edited by zhangm, Mar 31 2010, 1:06pm :

Relativity_17 said,
They should give up on the whole black background thing. It does nothing to deter pirates.

Instead, they need to change the background to a screenshot of mister poweruser's desktop.

Nah, goatse FTW