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Old 12-08-2006, 09:19 PM
Nikos Kartalis's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NY - Rhodes
Posts: 1,867
Arrow Pirates crack Vista Activation Server and its not even officially released yet

Pirates have released another ingenious workaround to Vista's copy protection: a hacked copy of Microsoft's yet-to-be-released volume licencing activation server, running in VMware.

Volume Activation 2.0 is one of the more controversial features of Vista: it means that every copy of Vista has to be activated, even the Business/Enterprise volume licenced editions.

However, to make life easier for administrators, Microsoft worked in a more convenient system of in-house for en masse activation of PCs called KMS – Key Management Service.

The idea behind KMS is that you have a single PC running KMS which can then handle activation for all your Vista clients, so that they don’t have to connect back to Microsoft every single time.

The downside of KMS is that the activation is only good for 180 days, to discourage people bringing in their home systems, activating them and wandering off again.

Bearing in mind that KMS wasn’t scheduled to be released until next year, pirates have managed to get hold of KMS and produce a standalone, fully-activated KMS server called “Windows Vista Local Activation Server – MelindaGates”. Tongue-in-cheek of course…the first “cracked” version of Vista was called Vista BillGates.

The download is a VMWare image, and the idea behind it is that you download and install VMWare Player (a legal free download), boot the image and use some VBS script (supplied with the activation server download) to have the client Vista machine get its activation from the local server. And that’s it – no communication back to Microsoft.

Of course, in line with the Volume Activation 2.0 model, this only works with Vista Business and Enterprise editions, as they are the only ones which will accept KMS keys.

Home and Ultimate editions still use normal single-use activation that calls back to Microsoft for validation of the product ID.

News Source | apcmag.com

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