Is Windows Vista Anti-Piracy Already Beaten?

Could Microsoft anti-piracy in Vista already be hacked? Hackers are distributing a file that will let users get around the built anti-piracy in Windows Vista Enterprise editions, it allows them to spoof the Key Management Service, or KMS, of Windows Vista which allows big businesses to run a authorization server on their own network, allowing them to authenticate Vista installs without contacting Microsoft.

Windows Vista must be “activated,” or authorized by Microsoft, before it will work on a particular machine. To simplify the task of activating many copies of Vista, Microsoft offers corporate users special tools, among them Key Management Service (KMS), which allows a company to run a Microsoft-supplied authorization server on its own network and activate Vista without contacting Microsoft for each copy.

The software Microsoft.Windows.Vista.Local.Activation.Server-MelindaGates lets users spoof that KMS process, allowing them to activate copies of the enterprise editions of Vista, its creators say. The hacked download is available online on sites including The Pirate Bay and other file sharing sites.

The MelindaGates hack allows users to download a VMware image of a KMS server which activates Windows Vista Business/Enterprise edition, its creators claim. Source: InfoWorld

This will be blocked pretty quickly, I am sure, especially if you have to connect to a VMWare image of a KMS server, this will probably be blocked before the day is over, unless the hackers are pretty good at hosting it on different servers, or servers that can’t be controlled or taken down by law enforcement. This is only the first salvo, there will be many more, some will work, some won’t, but it will be a continuing battle for Microsoft to stop piracy of their software.