Windows Genuine Advantage scheme easily defeated

— 9:30 AM on August 9, 2005

Microsoft recently began trying to limit downloads of updates for Windows from its web site by requiring users to submit to a check that would ensure they were using an "authentic" copy of Windows before could proceed. Now comes word that the browser-based check has been defeated:

A July 28 posting on the Boing Boing weblog claimed that a JavaScript command string could bypass the software-key check in Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage 1.0 program. According to the posting, users can override WGA by pasting the command in the address bar of their browser and pressing Enter. The code "turns off the trigger for the key check," the posting said.
Microsoft says it plans to fix the exploit in a future version of Windows Genuine Advantage.
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