Windows Genuine Advantage Hacked

Binnen 24 uur nadat de verplichte Windows Genuine Advantage Check was gelanceerd, was deze ook al weer gekraakt. Zie onderstaande tekst uit de nieuwsbrief van

Windows validation easily circumvented

Microsoft last week made validation of its operating sy:tem mandatory for all Windows XP and 2000 users. As of July 26, downloading software via Windows Update, the new Microsoft Update, or the Microsoft Download Center requires a PC to pass a real-time test for an authorized, licensed OS. (The Redmond company is making exceptions for patches it labels “critical” for security.) The validation test had been optional since late last year, when Microsoft initiated its “Windows Genuine Advantage” program to reduce piracy.

It took only one day for programmers to demonstrate that the new testing mechanism was poorly implemented. The tech blog reported on July 28 that entering a single line of JavaScript into a browser’s address bar bypasses the validation routine. Using a different approach, Rafael Rivera of released similar methods that involve installing small user scripts.

Shortly thereafter, Ryan Foley published on his Technomyst blog an even simpler trick. Users receive a Windows Genuine Advantage ActiveX component when downloading software for the first time under the new regime. After closing and restarting Internet Explorer, users can then click Tools, Internet Options, Programs, Manage Add-Ons. Merely clearing the check box next to Windows Genuine Advantage prevents the test from taking place.

Another easy method was also published by Sinhack Research Labs. As explained in a posting to the Full Disclosure discussion list, downloading Microsoft’s own GenuineCheck.exe program, and configuring it to run in “Windows 2000 compatibility mode,” makes the test always succeed in Windows XP.

I don’t advocate pirating software, and in fact I recommend that you take advantage of Microsoft’s Genuine Windows Offer if you find that you somehow purchased a counterfeit Windows CD. The Redmond company will send you a licensed copy of Windows XP for free if you submit a piracy report and the disc. Those with a bogus OS but without a black-market CD can get XP for the discounted price of $99 USD (XP Home) or $149 (XP Pro).

Microsoft announced that the flaws would be corrected. They may even have been fixed by the time you read this.

But the weak stress testing that the software giant obviously conducted on Genuine Advantage — an initiative it knew would be high profile — is disturbing. If Microsoft allows such elementary weaknesses to ship in its most visible campaigns, how many holes still exist in Windows’ less-well-known software components?

De onderstaande mogelijkheid die geopperd wordt, werkt in ieder geval:

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Microsoft “Genuine Advantage” cracked in 24h: window.g_sDisableWGACheck=’all’
AV sez, “This week, Microsoft started requiring users to verifiy their serial number before using Windows Update. This effort to force users to either buy XP or tell them where you got the illegal copy is called ‘Genuine Advantage.’ It was cracked within 24 hours.”

Before pressing ‘Custom’ or ‘Express’ buttons paste this text to the address bar and press enter: javascript:void(window.g_sDisableWGACheck='all')

It turns off the trigger for the key check.

Het aanzetten van de controle is eveneens te doen door het onderstaande script: