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Pirates Hack Vista's Registration Features

Hackers are distributing a file that they say lets users of the corporate version of Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system get around the software's anti-piracy mechanisms.

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.


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