Hackers have found a way to circumvent a check in Windows that aimed to prevent users of pirated copies from accessing software updates.
Users of pirated Windows copies still get access to security updates without passing the WGA check.
In addition to blocking users of pirated copies, the WGA check also unlocks access to a set of free software applications that Microsoft values at $450. Another part of the programme gives qualifying users of pirated copies the chance to buy a legal licence and swap in their software CD for a genuine one.
A spokesman for Microsoft acknowledged the hack to vnunet.com.
"Because of the high value that we provide to Windows Genuine Advantage users, we're not surprised that hackers try to circumvent the safeguards," he said.
Microsoft is investigating the hack and will take action to disable it.
The spokesman further pointed out that this is not a security vulnerability and that users are not put at risk.
Last May an Indian security consultant published another workaround that allows users to circumvent the WGA check by entering the validation key that the software provides on multiple machines.
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