With some clever Registry trickery, hackers have found a way to permanently delay the activation of 32-bit Windows Vista.
A previous hack last month involved setting up a spoof key server to generate faked license keys for the corporate version of the OS. This hack, which is rather simpler, avoids running the key server entirely.
In fact, it doesn't even require the input of any keys at all.
Vista runs, out of the box, fully functionally, for 30 days without requiring activation. This new hack stops the countdown timer at 30 days and makes sure that it never goes further - thus giving the eager pirate a fully functional version of Vista.
The hack, covered by Engadget
, probably won't work on 64-bit Vista, thanks to the security improvements MS has made in that version of the OS. You can also bet that Microsoft isn't going to be sitting around with this exploit in the wild - expect the first batch of Vista Windows Updates to address this.
Are you running Vista? Let us know your thoughts over in the forums.