The inquirer reported that Microsoft’s unhackable activation of Windows Vista has been hacked by brute force.
The method is simple but effective; using the power of modern PCs, the crack hacks away trying to guess valid keys in a brute-force manor. Once a genuine key is correctly guessed, it can be activated. This is going to cause huge problems for Microsoft as some of these keys will already be in circulation. Consumers may go and buy a copy of Windows Vista in their local store only to get home and be told that their key is already in use. You can imagine the Microsoft call centres overloading with irate customers being told that they are pirates!
It will be very interesting to see how Microsoft deals with this latest licensing problem. What tricks do they have up their sleeve? Maybe unofficially allowing thousands of people to install cracked versions of Windows Vista is a marketing ploy; give it a year or two so that hundreds of thousands of people switch to a supposedly ‘free’ Windows Vista rather than paying for it; let them install all of their software, migrate their personal data and then switch on a new version of WGA either disabling the machine or giving users the chance to pay for a real licence key. Sneaky; maybe I’m just paranoid, but that seems like a good way of catching people out and getting them to pay for an upgrade that they otherwise would have gone without.