Trojans likely to follow Win 7 activation hack

Beware Greeks bearing security bypasses


Trojan attacks are likely in the wake of the Windows 7 product activation system cracks developed last week, less than a month after the release of Microsoft's latest operating system.

The RemoveWAT (and the similar ChewWGA) utility allow a prospective Windows 7 user to bypass the Windows Genuine Advantage registration procedure. Both hacks circumvent product activation without the need to have OEM keys, unlike earlier hacks on pre-release code.

Security firm Sunbelt Software warns that Trojans posing as Win 7 cracks are very likely to follow.

"RemoveWAT and Chew-WGA... join the grimy world of cracks and key-gens – oft-Trojanised applications that defeat activation passwords or other security on legitimate software," writes Sunbelt researcher Tom Kelchner.

"Trojanized versions of RemoveWAT and Chew-WGA soon will be available on websites and file-sharing networks near you. Look for them (or maybe we should say 'look out for them')," he added.

The release of the Win 7 cracking tools last week came as little surprise to security watchers.

Richard Kirk, European director at application vulnerability firm Fortify, noted that similar types of cracks arrived shortly after the release of Windows Vista in January 2007, and were solved when Microsoft issued an update. "Similar utilities for Windows XP also started appearing in the summer of 2005, shortly after the Windows Genuine Advantage system was made mandatory in July of that year," he added. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • AMD claims its GPUs beat Nvidia on performance per dollar
    * Terms, conditions, hardware specs and software may vary – a lot

    As a slowdown in PC sales brings down prices for graphics cards, AMD is hoping to win over the market's remaining buyers with a bold, new claim that its latest Radeon cards provide better performance for the dollar than Nvidia's most recent GeForce cards.

    In an image tweeted Monday by AMD's top gaming executive, the chip designer claims its lineup of Radeon RX 6000 cards provide better performance per dollar than competing ones from Nvidia, with all but two of the ten cards listed offering advantages in the double-digit percentages. AMD also claims to provide better performance for the power required by each card in all but two of the cards.

    Continue reading
  • Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus
    A futuristic design won't make people want to come back – just ask Apple

    After nearly a decade of planning and five years of construction, Google is cutting the ribbon on its Bay View campus, the first that Google itself designed.

    The Bay View campus in Mountain View – slated to open this week – consists of two office buildings (one of which, Charleston East, is still under construction), 20 acres of open space, a 1,000-person event center and 240 short-term accommodations for Google employees. The search giant said the buildings at Bay View total 1.1 million square feet. For reference, that's less than half the size of Apple's spaceship. 

    The roofs on the two main buildings, which look like pavilions roofed in sails, were designed that way for a purpose: They're a network of 90,000 scale-like solar panels nicknamed "dragonscales" for their layout and shimmer. By scaling the tiles, Google said the design minimises damage from wind, rain and snow, and the sloped pavilion-like roof improves solar capture by adding additional curves in the roof. 

    Continue reading
  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be hoodwinked by a relay attack, leading to the theft of the flash motor.

    Discovered and demonstrated by researchers at NCC Group, the technique involves relaying the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, this hack lets a miscreant start the car and drive away, too.

    Essentially, what happens is this: the paired smartphone should be physically close by the Tesla to unlock it. NCC's technique involves one gadget near the paired phone, and another gadget near the car. The phone-side gadget relays signals from the phone to the car-side gadget, which forwards them to the vehicle to unlock and start it. This shouldn't normally happen because the phone and car are so far apart. The car has a defense mechanism – based on measuring transmission latency to detect that a paired device is too far away – that ideally prevents relayed signals from working, though this can be defeated by simply cutting the latency of the relay process.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022