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<nettime> Indian breaks open Microsoft's anti-piracy programme
Frederick Noronha (FN) on Wed, 22 Jun 2005 00:13:42 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Indian breaks open Microsoft's anti-piracy programme


Indian breaks open Microsoft's anti-piracy programme Tuesday, 21 June ,
2005, 13:47 

New Delhi: Breaching the much-touted 'impenetrable' Window Genuine Advantage (WGA)
of Microsoft, an Indian researcher has shown the global software leader how fragile
its claims were. 

With a potential to hurt Microsoft's business across the world, Debasis Mohanty has
broke open WGA through an 'easy-to-exploit' weakness in the software for generating
illegal copies of Window XP programme. 

Microsoft confirmed the claims of the Bangalore-based researcher Debasis Mohanty
but sought to downplay it saying "it represents very little threat." 

A company spokesperson said they did expect counterfeiters to try a number of
different methods to circumvent safeguards provided by WGA. 

WGA is an anti-piracy programme that keeps a tab on consumers whether they are
running legitimately licensed copies of Windows XP. 

Mohanty has posted a detailed proof-of-concept programme on the high-profile
security mailing list of the software giant, showing how the WGA validation check
can be tricked to generate key codes for use on illegal copies of the software. 

Using a secondary Microsoft validation tool called 'GenuineCheck.exe', Mohanty
claims to have made it possible for people to trick the safeguard mechanism and
download and run the supposedly restricted software from Microsoft's Download
Center on a PC, he said. 

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