TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Hackers Tinker With Microsoft Program

Hackers Tinker With Microsoft Program

AP News Wire (
Fri, 29 Jul 2005 23:41:19 -0500

Days after Microsoft Corp. launched a new anti-piracy program, hackers
have found a way to get around it. The software company's new program,
called Windows Genuine Advantage, requires computer users to go
through a process validating that they're running a legitimate copy of
the Windows operating system before downloading any software updates
except for security patches.

But the check can be bypassed by entering a simple JavaScript command
in the Web browser's address bar and hitting the "Enter" key. When
that's done, the validation does not run and the user is taken
directly to the download.

Microsoft said it was investigating and that the glitch was not a
security vulnerability.

The hack appears only to work when a computer user is trying to
download software through the Windows Update service. Some software,
such as Microsoft's AntiSpyware beta, isn't available there but can be
found elsewhere on

Such downloads also require validation, but the hack does not appear
to work. On Friday, attempts to download the antispyware program
resulted in a server error, with a message that read, "It appears that
our activation servers are not functioning properly."

All Windows users, even those with pirated copies, can still download
security patches. For any other software updates, Microsoft now
requires computer users to validate that their computers aren't
running counterfeit copies of Windows.

On the Net:


Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

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