Microsoft closes Windows Vista activation loophole

Tweaktown reports that one of their readers have installed Windows Vista KB940510 Update which proved out to be a sniffer.

It looks for codes that exploit a weakness in Microsoft's latest operating system activation solution.

Two of the solutions that were released by hackers were Paradox OEM BIOS Emulator and Timer Stop which allow users to bypass Vista's grace period and let them extend that period indefinitely.

Closing the exploit is the latest in the cat-and-mouse game that Microsoft is playing with the hacking community; a compromised Windows Vista installation will display an alert box saying that Windows must be repaired.

In statement on Microsoft's update page, the company says that "When activation exploits are present on a system, it indicates that a software or hardware vendor may have tampered with genuine Windows to enable the sale of counterfeit software. Therefore, the security and the privacy of the computer are put at risk. After this update is installed, you will know if activation exploits are present on the system."

The update applies only to Windows Vista and not to Windows XP and is the latest in Microsoft's efforts to reduce the use of counterfeit copies of Windows Vista.

But there are ways of uninstalling the update to revert back to a pre-update status.