Microsoft Takes Out XPKeyGen Site
Posted By Van Smith

Date: February 24, 2002

A site responsible for the distribution of a program that defeats Microsoft's WPA has been taken offline by the software giant, the webmaster of the site has informed VHJ

Last week we downloaded the program "XP KeY ReCoVeRER AND DiSCOVErER 5.12" from the renegade site, MSBetaNG.  Our tests support the claim that this tiny program is able to thwart Microsoft's Windows Product Activation by generating unique, valid CD Keys which users can then use to activate copies of Windows XP, Office XP and Visio XP over the Internet or via telephone.

Although MSBetaNG remained operational and "XPKeyGen," as the CD key generation program is also called, continued to be available through it for several days after our article, the site winked out of existence after the Redmond-based software goliath pressured the web hosting service to dismantle the site.

According to Aaron Stevens, webmaster of MSBetaNG:

Microsoft warned Chello NL to remove the links to the cracks within 24 hours.  Then Chello NL mailed the holder of the webspace account, but unfortunately the account holder was on holiday and could not remove the links (this account holder lent me his webspace so I could host MSBeta NG).  So Chello NL shut down the site.

Although Mr. Stevens does not have immediate plans to resurrect the site, he stated that he "might host MSBetaNG on my own IIS webserver when I get cable soon, that should stop MS trying to shut it down."

Windows Product Activation, or "WPA," is a controversial new mechanism Microsoft is adding to its products to prevent "casual copying."  WPA will scan a user's systems and combine this data with the CD key, which at activation is then logged into central Microsoft databases so that only one computer can be used per program copy.  The user is locked out of these programs if the activation process is not undertaken, if activated software is moved to another machine, or if sufficient hardware changes are made to the machine hosting the activated software.

The only Microsoft-sanctioned way to unlock the software is for the user to telephone the software giant and prove to the company that a new activation code should be issued.

XPKeyGen bypasses this indignity by generating bogus but valid CD keys so that WPA-enabled programs can be reinstalled and reactivated.  XPKeyGen can also be used to activate illegitimately obtained copies of these Microsoft programs.