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U.S. Army Base Allegedly Using Pirated Windows 7

By - Source: TorrentFreak | B 49 comments

Earlier this month, the government shelled out $50 million USD to Apptricity due to the U.S. Army using Apptricity's software on more servers and workstations than licensed. Now one soldier stationed in Qatar has stepped forward to reveal that the Army is allegedly using pirated copies of Windows 7 as well.

According to the report, this soldier claims that 18 computers in the education center at his base, Camp As Sayliyah, run unlicensed copies of Windows 7, and has done so for quite a while. Even more, these computers clearly state that the operating system is not a genuine copy of Windows 7.

Images provided to TorrentFreak show one Windows 7 computer displaying the "Windows 7 Professional product key you typed in is invalid for activation" error. Another image has the error message "You must activate today" and another shows "Windows 7, Build 7601, This copy of Windows is not genuine" at the bottom right of desktop.

The soldier told TorrentFreak that currently this is the only time he's seen a military base running unlicensed Windows software on desktops and laptops. He claims he approached his superior about the piracy issue, but so far nothing has changed.

"I am not anti-government in any way, but I have been in the army a long time and I feel the army should be kept honest and accountable for what they do, especially when it is so public and a hot button issue in these times," the soldier said.

As TorrentFreak points out, it's quite possible that the Army has keys for these computers, but they're misplaced. Maybe the IT administrator didn't think using pirated copies would be a big deal for the Army overseas. The latter scenario wouldn't be surprising given the way the Army handled Apptricity's software, which lead to the lawsuit and $50M settlement.

Regardless, Microsoft may be a bit forgiving given it just signed a $617 million licensing deal to bring Windows 8 to the Army, Air Force, and Defense Information Systems Agency.

Add your comment Display 49 Comments.
Top Comments
  • 32 Hide
    Scott Evers , December 23, 2013 10:12 AM
    just because they didn't activate it doesn't mean it's pirated, is this the new low IQ army?
  • 26 Hide
    sactownbwoy , December 23, 2013 10:34 AM
    I'm currently in the military and this happens all the time. It isn't blatant piracy like the soldier tries to make it out to be. The military has corporate licences for the machines. There was/is probably a probelm with the KMS.

    I just returned from a deployment and we were having problems with our KMS which caused our machines to say we were using unlicensed copies of Win7 and Office. Once we got it fixed, the was problem solved.
  • 18 Hide
    techguy911 , December 23, 2013 10:35 AM
    This story is fictional the US Army uses Windows 7 Enterprise license they have no need to pirate windows what is happening is their installs are managed through centralized PXE servers which image a given computer with the relevant AGM image.
    An update breaks WGA and has to be fixed or re-imaged, AGM-imaged machines are configured to receive updates only through a military Altiris server.
    People should really research stuff like this before making a big deal of it and thinking it's news worthy material.
Other Comments
  • 32 Hide
    Scott Evers , December 23, 2013 10:12 AM
    just because they didn't activate it doesn't mean it's pirated, is this the new low IQ army?
  • -7 Hide
    DroKing , December 23, 2013 10:20 AM
    corporation's puppet much? that guy is an idiot.
  • -6 Hide
    house70 , December 23, 2013 10:20 AM
    There is no personal accountability; if indeed using pirated copies, the Army will end paying the tab for this. Now, if an individual pirated a movie or a program, he/she can easily end up in jail and having to pay the equivalent of an entire Blockbuster store full of movies. But in this case... nah.
  • 1 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 23, 2013 10:26 AM
    tomshardware does not support.....
  • 26 Hide
    sactownbwoy , December 23, 2013 10:34 AM
    I'm currently in the military and this happens all the time. It isn't blatant piracy like the soldier tries to make it out to be. The military has corporate licences for the machines. There was/is probably a probelm with the KMS.

    I just returned from a deployment and we were having problems with our KMS which caused our machines to say we were using unlicensed copies of Win7 and Office. Once we got it fixed, the was problem solved.
  • 18 Hide
    techguy911 , December 23, 2013 10:35 AM
    This story is fictional the US Army uses Windows 7 Enterprise license they have no need to pirate windows what is happening is their installs are managed through centralized PXE servers which image a given computer with the relevant AGM image.
    An update breaks WGA and has to be fixed or re-imaged, AGM-imaged machines are configured to receive updates only through a military Altiris server.
    People should really research stuff like this before making a big deal of it and thinking it's news worthy material.
  • 0 Hide
    chrisso , December 23, 2013 10:38 AM
    Yes, I bet the army boys cant access (ahem) 'adult material' either.
  • 5 Hide
    Zetto , December 23, 2013 10:51 AM
    "This story is fictional the US Army uses Windows 7 Enterprise license they have no need to pirate windows"
    Indeed, for this to even generate an article shows the lack of knowledge or sensationalist tendency of the editor/publisher. The whole article should be removed ASAP, what is this, IT Enquirer?
  • 0 Hide
    Amdlova , December 23, 2013 11:00 AM
    microsoft gives 30 days for activate. if you renew your windows is not pirated.
  • 3 Hide
    Devoteicon , December 23, 2013 11:03 AM
    So how does this soldier know what pirated software looks like? Hmm? Maybe he needs to be investigated...
  • 8 Hide
    robochump , December 23, 2013 11:04 AM
    Wait, people still pay for Windows?
  • 9 Hide
    maddad , December 23, 2013 11:15 AM
    After spending 20 years in the Air Force and working as both an Air Force and an Army contractor; I can tell you the military goes out of its way to try to make sure all of its software are genuine licensed copies. No activated does not mean pirated. I love Toms Hardware, but this is just an attempt at sensationalism. This story should not have been printed. So how much did this soldier get paid from the media outlets!!!! I guess you don't need any proof to print a story that bashes the government or DOD. Shame on you Toms!
  • 5 Hide
    thundervore , December 23, 2013 11:16 AM
    This happens in my office from time to time and it has nothing to do with priacy. It just means that the machine either fell off the domain and needs to be rejoined to be activated or the machine never contacted the licence server while it was being imaged from the server.
  • 10 Hide
    deadmeow , December 23, 2013 11:23 AM
    The army actually blows up men, women and children. I don't think non-licensed software is such a big deal in the larger scheme of things.
  • 6 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , December 23, 2013 11:27 AM
    "$617 million licensing deal to bring Windows 8 to the Army, Air Force, and Defense Information Systems Agency."

    So let me get this straight the arm forces just signed a 617 million dollar deal with ms for windows 8? now I can actually see where my tax dollars are getting wasted.
  • 3 Hide
    nbelote , December 23, 2013 11:38 AM
    Someone installed VL copies of Windows 7 on several non-domain PCs in our organization before I started here. They sat there, not activated, for a very long time until I manually pointed them to the KMS host since they were set up in their own workgroup outside the domain. After that, they just call the assigned address instead of checking with the DNS server, and it works just fine.

    Chances are, this particular army base's IT guru isn't really knowledgeable enough to get it done correctly.
  • 2 Hide
    Be0wulf22 , December 23, 2013 12:11 PM
    Only 18 computers? Get back on your watch.
  • 1 Hide
    apesoccer , December 23, 2013 12:26 PM
    fff full force facepalm...so much fail in this article
  • -2 Hide
    bison88 , December 23, 2013 12:42 PM
    in the middle east piracy isn't a crime. Ask this soldier how many hollywood movies he bought for $2 haaji and I'll call bullsh*t if he says he never bought one. Not to mention all the other reasons already specified as to why this could be a false alarm.
  • 0 Hide
    Xenophage , December 23, 2013 1:52 PM
    The biggest takeaway here was that the Army will soon be running Windows 8, which means the U.S. will be totally defenseless for the next several years. What happens when France attacks us with nuclear missiles and our Army guys have to navigate that Metrosexual U.I to figure out how to install Missile Command? I'll tell you what happens: Game over man.
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