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Windows 7 RTM Cracked With OEM License Key

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 49 comments

Well, that didn't take long.

With every release of Windows is the inevitable race by the pirate community to crack it. Even with activation schemes, which make things considerably more challenging, hackers were able to find a way to activate Windows Vista with a special OEM key. This very same hack has now made its way to activate Windows 7 RTM.

Such a key allows OEMs to pre-activate machines – something definitely not meant for the consumer market. The OEM activation system relies on a special BIOS that identifies itself to Windows. A software hack is all that's required to fool Windows into thinking that any machine is an authorized one that can be activated using the OEM license key.

The OEM license key this time around was extracted from a Windows 7 Ultimate DVD image from Lenovo, which contained the data that hackers needed to make the activation tools.

This type of hack is particularly difficult for Microsoft to stop because it means that it would lock out and greatly inconvenience Windows 7 integration processes already underway at one of its OEM partners – in this case, Lenovo.

Microsoft wasn't able to block out the OEM BIOS hack for Windows Vista until it released Service Pack 1, leading us to suspect that the same could apply for Windows 7.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 39 Hide
    Anonymous , July 29, 2009 5:52 PM
    how quickly your product is cracked is directly proportional to how successful it will be. People in marketing should seriously use this as a viable metric for predicting sales.
  • 28 Hide
    stradric , July 29, 2009 5:51 PM
    If they knew about this type of exploit when Vista SP1 came out, then they have no excuse. That's just piss poor.
  • 18 Hide
    nekatreven , July 29, 2009 5:51 PM
    Ohhh....I'm off to search the torrents the wonderful torrents of...well, you get the idea.
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    stradric , July 29, 2009 5:51 PM
    If they knew about this type of exploit when Vista SP1 came out, then they have no excuse. That's just piss poor.
  • 18 Hide
    nekatreven , July 29, 2009 5:51 PM
    Ohhh....I'm off to search the torrents the wonderful torrents of...well, you get the idea.
  • 39 Hide
    Anonymous , July 29, 2009 5:52 PM
    how quickly your product is cracked is directly proportional to how successful it will be. People in marketing should seriously use this as a viable metric for predicting sales.
  • 5 Hide
    SirCrono , July 29, 2009 5:58 PM
    duderth is right, I remembrer reading an article that said that the high adoption rates helped Microsoft mantain their domain over the enterprise market, it makes sense if you think about it, as long as every home user uses windows and office (legit or otherwise) the enterprises will have no choice but to stick to them (or at least the indirect costs of changing plataforms will be higher)
  • 6 Hide
    tacoslave , July 29, 2009 6:03 PM
    johnny depp = best pirate ever
  • -8 Hide
    neon neophyte , July 29, 2009 6:26 PM
    well, that was fast. good to know this version of windows will be just as piratable as every previous version. considering i wont buy it until i see a full version of ultimate at a reasonable price, this is good news for me.
  • -4 Hide
    jerther , July 29, 2009 6:29 PM
    OEM key crack?? I still haven't heard of OEM availability o_O
  • 5 Hide
    Fadamor , July 29, 2009 6:39 PM
    RTM happened a couple of weeks ago. Lenovo (shocker this is a Chinese company) obviously let one of their OEM-specific copies get "stolen".
  • 2 Hide
    Kill@dor , July 29, 2009 6:59 PM
    Wow...talk about a high speed hijacking! I'm begining to question Windows 7's security features as well.
  • 10 Hide
    jerther , July 29, 2009 7:06 PM
    Kill@dorWow...talk about a high speed hijacking! I'm begining to question Windows 7's security features as well.

    I believe those security features are just to keep the average Joe honest. Just like ordinary door locks: they prevent honest people from entering my house and taking that 20 i've left on the table while I'm not there.

    Hell, we have customers calling us complaining their DVD burner doesn't work, and they tell us they're trying to copy a rented DVD.
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , July 29, 2009 7:07 PM
    DRM doesnt stop pirates, it screws with legit users. Maybe one day companies will realize this.

    Im not surprised that its been cracked before release, thats the norm.
  • 8 Hide
    freak77power , July 29, 2009 7:08 PM
    Anything can be cracked and pirated. Has nothing to do with security. I don't think MS will bother putting any other activation scheme in future Windows releases. Only way to prevent pirating like this is to run OS from special integrated ROM chips on mobo where windows or any other OS is preloaded to. ROM chip should be swappable so you can run any OS.
  • 2 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , July 29, 2009 7:15 PM
    tacoslavejohnny depp = best pirate ever


    And the greatest pirate ever is G.P. LeChuck.
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