Vista Crack Available

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft definitely does not need this.

Less than two weeks after a rather successful business launch (that did, however, have its own problems), it has become clear that a crack is available to home users that will exploit one of Vista's features and allow pirates to use the system for free, for up to 180 days.

Although Microsoft is remaining very, very quiet about the crack (with only a rep or two whispering to the media that there's no evidence to support the rumor), it isn't particularly difficult to find a torrent or two offering it up.

The key is for the user to obtain a Windows Vista image file, which can then act upon a pseudo server also available for download. The combination exploits Vista-supported Voice Activation 2.0, one of Microsoft's own products.

It's through VA 2.0 that the cracker can take advantage of Vista's Key Management Service, otherwise referred to as KMS. That must be reactivated every 180 days, and if hackers have access to it, then conceivably they can also run Vista for free. (Source:

The media is referring to the crack as anything but perfect, on grounds that it must be legally reactivated before the 6 month period is over. Still, that's a long time to have free Vista, especially when one considers that the operating system takes another 30 days to shut down rogue, unpaid-for accounts. (Source:

Microsoft's extreme hush on this one probably means it still hasn't devised a clear way to fight the crack. That could mean big problems for home users expecting Vista in January. It's unlikely the OS will be delayed any longer, but there remains the possibility that this issue could incite greater use of Microsoft's anti-piracy program, the Windows Genuine Advantage.

Here we go again.

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