XP anti-theft features already cracked

BitArts Labs is claiming that the anti-theft features in Microsoft's WindowsXP have already been cracked and that the software giant’s anti-piracy approach is flawed.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  October 27, 2001

UK-based company, BitArts Labs, is claiming that the anti-theft features in Microsoft's WindowsXP have already been cracked and that the software giant’s anti-piracy approach is, essentially, flawed.

It believes that crackers have already developed illegal installation files that bypass the registration process for XP and that these files can now be downloaded from Warez sites across the Internet.

While the apparent ease with which crackers have stripped the protection mechanism from XP may be true, the claims have a certain smug ‘told you so’ ring to them as BitArts Labs also claims to have highlighted issues with the anti-theft protection mechanism in beta versions.

"Crackers have studied and bypassed the security by using publicly available monitoring tools. The cracks are simplistic in their nature and reflect an uncanny naivety from [Microsoft] on the high level of technical intellect within today's cracking community," says John Safa, chief technology officer, BitArts Labs.

"If they'd taken our advice they really wouldn't be having these problems," he glibly adds.

Danny Chapchal, chief executive, BitArts Labs, explains that while Microsoft is always going to be the hardest hit due to its standing within the industry, the problem is not limited to the Redmond giant.

"The design of many company's activation technologies, and this includes Microsoft, provide no barrier to today's advanced cracking techniques. Companies must learn to understand cracking ideologies or they will be consistently caught out. The industry is educated in the art of hacking but the elusive world of cracking allows the inner workings of applications to be reversed and modified," he says.

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