Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) hands over Windows 8 activation key to pirates

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), the world's largest software company, is also known for its annoying security flaws.

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But this really beats everything. According to Venture Beat the company recently gave away free upgrades of its Windows Media Centre and along with that a free copy of Windows 8 Pro Direct as well.

This means that pirates will have a field day since they can get access to copies of the software, even if it’s temporary.

"The Media Center upgrade, which Microsoft is offering through January 31, 2013, includes Microsoft’s tools for watching and recording live TV. However, applying the upgrade has an unintended side effect: It permanently activates the copy of Windows 8 that you’ve applied it to," said Venture Beat.

"That provides a neat workaround for pirates who exploit a weakness in Microsoft’s Key Management Service (KMS) to get temporary access to copies of Windows 8," it added.

Microsoft’s KMS allows IT people in the corporate sector to activate copies of Windows on a local network without having to go through the route of contacting the company for authenticating each licensed copy.

But the flip side of this is that it had handed over the key to pirates, who can make pirate servers which can hand out activation keys over the Internet.

"However, the Media Center upgrade reportedly works even on KMS-authorized installations of Windows, turning KMS-hacked PCs into permanently-authenticated copies of Windows," Venture Beat said.

Stephen Hall of Windows Wave confirmed that piracy through this route is possible.

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