Microsoft Using Anti-Spyware App To Combat Unauthorized Windows Users?

from the sneaky,-sneaky... dept

Soon after Microsoft announced their new anti-spyware offering, I went to download it, and discovered (as everyone else has) that they confusingly hide the actual download behind a process designed to guarantee that you have an authorized version of Windows running. If you read the instructions carefully, you can get around actually running that check. While my version of Windows is perfectly legitimate, I saw no reason to tell Microsoft about it again and avoided the authorization check process. However, others are beginning to wonder why Microsoft is forcing people to prove they have a legitimate version of Windows just to download their anti-spyware application. After all, the whole reason Microsoft needs to offer this product is because they can't be bothered to actually fix some of their security holes. This sets up a weird set of incentives for Microsoft, whereby they might think they're better off pushing out buggy code, and then only allowing authorized users to patch it, as a way to catch those who are unauthorized. It seems unlikely that Microsoft would actually stoop this low, but there have to be better ways to work on getting more authorized copies of Windows out there.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2005 @ 1:28pm

    No Subject Given

    Resistance is futile you will be assimalated

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Brian Riley, Jan 17th, 2005 @ 2:36pm

    Microsoft Using Anti-Spyware App To Combat Unautho

    They instituted that change for ALL downloads from Microsoft Sites, except updates, over a month ago. They think it will cut down on the number of boot leg copies of windows in use. They are of course wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    nonuser, Jan 17th, 2005 @ 2:42pm

    hmm, so the spammers could attack the upgrade

    by creating a hidden dummy file called GenuineCheck.exe in the same directory that Microsoft uses, and setting its attributes to read-only. Or something

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 3:02am

    ms spyware


    so switch to osx. the latest mac mini makes it easier. thou if apple was REALLY aggressive, they would bundle migration tools to transfer your outlook/email & calendar stuff etc.

    if steve was serious bout poking billy in the eye, the mini would boot up, ask u to plug in the crossover cable & then migrate your shiat onto it. perhaps followed by a msg that says ring 1800-recycle to have your ex-x86-pc picked up & sent to some disadvantged christians in idaho or phuket.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 5:24am

    Avoiding the check is needed

    I wish MS would get rid of the check completely, but since it is something we need to live with I'm glad we can get around it.
    I don't use windows but I fix ALOT of windows machines. I do all of my downloads from OS X to avoid all of the nasties I clean on others computers.
    If MS forced verification, I would actually need to purchase windows just to download the app. I don't want to do that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Steve Mueller, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 9:45am

    Big Deal

    However, others are beginning to wonder why Microsoft is forcing people to prove they have a legitimate version of Windows just to download their anti-spyware application.
    Wow, how awful. A company that may not want to give software to people who have stolen their product. Imagine that.

    If I stole a Ford, found out that there was a recall for some problem, and took it to the dealer to fix, would I have any right to complain if the dealer ran a check to ensure the vehicle wasn't stolen?

    I'm not a Microsoft fan, but why shouldn't the company verify that the user is running an authorized copy of Windows? I suppose if Microsoft is patching a hole that could cause other legitimate users problems (Blaster, etc.), they should allow unauthorized users to get that, but spyware/adware only hurts the user of that machine.

    It seems hypocritical to complain that Microsoft produces buggy software and then steal it and use it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    aNonMooseCowherd, Jan 18th, 2005 @ 10:20pm

    MS the virtuous

    It seems unlikely that Microsoft would actually stoop this low

    What tree have you been hiding under?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Ed, Jan 19th, 2005 @ 8:59am

    Not really, not yet.

    At the top of the original article you'll now find the following:

    Editor's note: This column is in error. The download site for Microsoft's anti-virus software strongly encourages users to run the company's validation software, but does not require it. SecurityFocus apologizes for the mistake

    This matches my experience when downloading the anti-spyware beta software. Although validating was encouraged, it was not mandatory.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    tim, Jul 27th, 2005 @ 2:23pm

    Re: hmm, so the spammers could attack the upgrade

    Hi,
    Where can I get a copy of genuinecheck.exe and anything I need to know about installing it?

    Tim

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2005 @ 1:54pm

    No Subject Given

    Apparently there are a coupe of other workarounds to keep WGA at bay. Either you can paste “javascript:void(window.g_sDisableWGACheck=’all’) (no quotes) into the address bar of Internet Explorer before clicking the “Express” or “Custom” installs in the Automatic Update feature, or try opening IE, click Tools, Manage Addons, then select the ‘Addons that have been used by Internet Explorer’ option and disable the “Windows Product Advantage” addon. Both options have been tested and work, at least as of this post.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2005 @ 1:57pm

    Re: hmm, so the spammers could attack the upgrade

    Apparently there are a coupe of other workarounds to keep WGA at bay. Either you can paste “javascript:void(window.g_sDisableWGACheck=’all’) (no quotes) into the address bar of Internet Explorer before clicking the “Express” or “Custom” installs in the Automatic Update feature, or try opening IE, click Tools, Manage Addons, then select the ‘Addons that have been used by Internet Explorer’ option and disable the “Windows Product Advantage” addon. Both options have been tested and work, at least as of this post.
    it works

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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