Windows Store Vulnerable to New Cracking Tool

Dennis Faas's picture

A new 'cracking' tool reportedly allows users to take trial version applications they have downloaded from Microsoft's Windows Store and turn them into fully functional versions, and do it free of charge.

According to reports, the tool is called 'Wsservice_crk' and has been available through several online forums -- including -- for more than a month. However, only recently has this tool caught the attention of the media. (Source:

Cracking Tool Brings Risks

Using 'Wsservice_crk' entails several significant risks. For one thing, it's necessary to provide one's name and email address in order to own a Windows Store account, which is required to download trial versions of Windows Store apps.

Should Microsoft discover that a Windows Store user has been using 'Wsservice_crk,' Microsoft would already have the user's identity, and could prosecute the person(s) involved.

At the very least, Microsoft is likely to ban that user from further use of its Windows Store service.

In addition, the cracking tool requires that users make modifications to several critical Windows system files. These changes open 'Wsservice_crk' users to weaker PC security and threatens their system's stability.

Single-Click Upgrades Possible

However, if one is willing to take these risks, upgrading trial versions of Windows Store applications by means of 'Wsservice_crk' reportedly takes only a single click. (Source:

This is the first time such activity has been reported on Microsoft's new Windows Store.

It's unclear at this time if this potential for software theft will discourage developers from adding more apps to Windows Store. If so, that would work against Microsoft's urging them to contribute as many new apps as possible.

Apple's own Mac App Store faced similar problems when it first launched back in January 2011. At that time, a hacker-designed program known as 'Kickback' allowed users to eliminate copyright protection on Mac applications and distribute them to others. (Source:

According to the tech blog BetaNews, Microsoft is currently investigating this matter, but the software giant has not yet offered any public reaction. (Source:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet