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August 01, 2005

The best laid plans of Microsoft and men

From VNU Network...

Hackers have found a way to circumvent a check in Windows that aimed to prevent users of pirated copies from accessing software updates.

By pasting a special JavaScript command in the address bar of the browser, users can disable the Windows Genuine Advantage 1.0 check that Microsoft took live last week.

The Microsoft technology uses an ActiveX tool to force users to go through an authentication check before they are allowed to access certain download sections on the Microsoft.com website. The JavaScript command simply instructs the computer to disable the WGA check and take the user straight to the downloads.

Users of pirated Windows copies still get access to security updates without passing the WGA check.

In addition to blocking users of pirated copies, the WGA check also unlocks access to a set of free software applications that Microsoft values at $450. Another part of the programme gives qualifying users of pirated copies the chance to buy a legal licence and swap in their software CD for a genuine one.

Do you get the impression that these programmers at Microsoft seem a bit naive as well as arrogant?

Coverage: Don Singleton

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 1, 2005 07:22 AM

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