Vista Activation Cracked By Brute Force

Thanks to voidunknown for submitting this to the Front Page.

It appears that Keznews forum member Computer User has discovered a method that effectively obtains a Windows Vista key which can then be activated. The idea is a simple brute force attack: the software generates keys and when it finds one, you manually have to check if it activates. The 8-step method can take anywhere from two minutes to two days. Members of the forum have verified the strategy and claim it works. This technique should worry Microsoft, not because they are losing customers to piracy again, but because the customers who are actually spending the money on the latest Windows version may start being unable to activate the software with a legally purchased key. It seems that the main issue is time, and with today's modern PCs, it really isn't that much of a problem. Evidently, pirates would rather wait a couple of hours, than go to work and make the money needed to purchase a legal copy. The author of the article over at Keznews has a disclaimer which emphasizes that, "under no circumstances should anyone sell the key that they generate. I do not support Piracy, this was simply an experiment in which i used to practice my vbscripting. This was just for fun and was a complete accident! I strongly encourage everyone to purchase windows vista, and be a genuine customer!"

That hasn't stopped him from offering his crack as a public download.

Link: Forum Discussion
News source: the Inquirer

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