The fact that Microsoft has relaxed its antipiracy mechanism built into Windows Vista concomitantly with the release of Service Pack 1 failed to stop hackers from providing a crack for the latest version of Windows Genuine Advantage Validation. Various reports point out that Genuine Advantage Validation and Notifications versions 18.104.22.168 (1.7.0069.1) and 22.214.171.124 released in March 2008, following the March 18 availability of Windows Vista SP1 through Windows Update and the Microsoft Download Center, have been cracked.
The workaround is designed to be integrated with pirated copies of Windows XP and Windows Vista in order to render useless the WGA Validation mechanism. According to the reports, applying the WGA crack will permit users of counterfeit versions of Windows to access and download items from Windows Update, Microsoft Download Center and Microsoft Update. The pirated operating systems with the cracked WGA will pass all validations on Microsoft's websites and offer anything from updates to applications that are restricted to users of genuine operating systems only.
With the release of Windows Vista SP1, Microsoft has scrapped the Reduced Functionality Mode kill switch in its latest operating system. Users of pirated Vista, just as those of XP and Windows Server 2008 will only be informed of the fact that their operating system is no longer genuine. However, pirated versions of Windows are automatically blocked from downloading certain free applications as well as all updates except those labeled Critical. The WGA crack is designed to fix that.
"After the activation grace period has been exceeded the next logon will present the user with a message that directs the customer to activate that copy of Windows. That dialog includes a fifteen second delay before it can be dismissed. If they want to skip activation at that time they can wait for the fifteen seconds and choose "Activate Later" and they will be logged in to their desktop," explained Alex Kochis, Senior Product Manager for Windows Genuine Advantage.