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Microsoft Accidentally Gives Free Copies of Windows 8 Pro to Pirates

When it comes to computer software, piracy is a big issue. No matter what measures traditional companies implement to keep pirates out, they’ll always find ways to get around them. When a better lock’s built, folks just devise new ways to pick it. It’s pretty much a fact of life. So it’s not surprising that folks have already pirated Windows 8. If anything, it was probably expected. What is surprising, however, is that Microsoft’s just unintentionally legitimized pirated copies of Windows 8 Pro through a Windows Media Center upgrade. Oops.

This exploit allows all those pirates currently using the KMS exploit to suddenly grant themselves a complete copy. Since KMS installs basically expire after 180 days, it’s not exactly a permanent solution. VentureBeat explains:

That provides a neat workaround for pirates who exploit a weakness in Microsoft’s Key Management Service (KMS) to get temporary access to copies of Windows 8. Normally, KMS provides a way for corporate IT people to activate copies of Windows on a local network, without having to make each PC contact Microsoft directly for authentication during the install process, but it has also given rise to pirate KMS servers, which hand out activation keys over the internet.

Someone over at Microsoft’s probably facepalming at this very moment.

(reddit via WindowsWave, VentureBeat)

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