Windows XP SP2 lives again

Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP SP2 last month, urging users to move to SP3 or - preferably - Windows 7. But a simple hack rediscovered by an insecurity researcher at F-Secure means users determined to stick with SP2 can still receive security updates.

F-Secure's Sean Sullivan, said that editing the ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Windows,’ key, and changing the DWORD value ‘CSDVersion‘ from 200 to 300 means the OS thinks it's running SP2.

The hack was initially discovered by gamers determined to run Grand theft Auto IV on their machines when it came out, although the game required SP3 to be installed

By applying the tweak, Sullivan was able to install Microsoft's recent LNK shortcut vulnerability (KB2286198) fix which was not supposed to support XP SP2 installs.

Sullivan adds however: "This update is NOT officially tested or supported by Microsoft for SP2. And we do NOT recommend that anybody use this tweak in a production network of any kind. Hacking the registry and applying updates is likely a very quick way to destabilize your system. You really should update to Service Pack 3 if at all possible."

On your own head be it!