Windows Vista Service Pack 1, not to mention Windows Vista RTM, and Windows XP Service Pack 3 are out, and Windows 7 is in! That's right, Windows 7. There is a veritable frenzy over the next edition of the Windows operating system, as it appears that Microsoft has already shipped an early development milestone to key partners. With Windows 7 Milestone 1 Ultimate Build version 6.1 (Build 6519.1.x86fre.winmain.071220-1525) available outside of Redmond, many feel that it is just a matter of time before the next iteration of Windows will make it onto warez or torrent websites.
And in fact, various peer-to-peer file sharing networks now feature Windows 7 Milestone 1 for download, more or less referencing the official ISO served by Microsoft: 6519.1.071220-1525. Now, such piracy hotspots have long been the cradle of various Microsoft products, and not just copies of its software, but also product keys, hack techniques, cracks, key generators and so on and so forth. But accessing such alternative and illegal resources of Microsoft software is never a good idea. No matter how appealing the end prize might be!
Users racing to be among the first in the world to have a hands-on experience with Windows 7, however, are ready to throw aside common sense and ignore risks, be them legal or otherwise related to malware payloads tucked away in pirated materials. Windows 7 made no exception in this case. However, at this point in time, torrent downloads of Windows 7 are only masquerading as the operating system.
The ISO images available via BitTorrent trackers have proved to be nothing but fake zero byte ISO images. However, attackers could very easily leverage the strong incentive that is Windows 7 in social engineering schemes designed to let users turn themselves into victims and become infected with malicious code. Windows 7 M2 is expected to drop in April/May 2008, M3 in the third quarter. The Beta, RC and RTM versions of Windows 7 are planned for 2009. All it takes is a bit of patience.