One of the problems with any security system is that there is always someone that can find a flaw. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about DVD’s, Music, or Operating Systems. In this case a group of hackers known as Pantheon have finally found a chink in Microsoft Vista’s product activation method.

It has taken over a year, but this development should not come as a great surprise to anyone.

It turns out that Microsoft in an attempt to placate certain large OEM’s like Asus and Levorno (IBM) a slightly different security model was used. Pantheon have now released a small program that when used in conjunction with a bootleg copy of Vista can take advantage of these holes and leave a perfectly functioning Vista system. As an added insult to Microsoft the computer passes the ‘Windows Genuine Advantage’ system and appears as a legitimate Windows machine.

There is no doubt that Microsoft will fight back, unfortunately it might be a bit of a hard battle to win. Crippling the authentication codes in question could cause issues for genuine legal customers of Asus, Levorno, Hewlet Packard, and others.

It should be interesting to see how this issue for Microsoft is resolved.

Simon Barrett

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