Microsoft has announced an update available to consumers next week which will detect two cracks commonly used to activate pirated copies of the operating system. One of the cracks refered to as Grace Timer, extended Vista's activation grace period, upto 2099. The other called as OEM BIOS, modified system files and the PC's BIOS to mimic the product activation done by computer-makers at the factory. If the sniffer detects an activation hack, it will pop up a warning that includes a link to the removal tool. Although SP1 will block these two cracks, "it's important to note that this update does not disable the exploits it finds," says Alex Kochis. "It simply alerts customers that exploits exist." However, MS will release a separate crack-removal tool at the same time that it rolls out the detection update.
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