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WP7 Prevents Hacks via ''Genuine Software''

Windows Phone Central reports that Microsoft has implemented a Genuine Software checker into Windows Phone 7, mimicking the company's nagging Genuine Advantage software found in Windows-based desktop and notebook PCs.

According to the report, Windows Phone 7 uses PVK, defined as private keys that connect the OS to the device hardware. The keys reside on the device motherboard, and are accessed and verified by Windows Phone 7. If the keys cannot be found, then the OS concludes that the motherboard needs to be replaced and shuts down key cloud-based elements like Xbox Live, Marketplace and Zune.

The discovery was verified by HTC, as the manufacturer lists a Service Advisory on one of its internal sites, giving the Xbox Live and/or Marketplace denial as a symptom of invalid PVK or missing PVK. The Service Advisory states that if the ASP diagnostic program detects the invalid/missing PVK, it will throw up a warning message when the user tries to log into a Windows Live service.

"There was a problem setting up your Windows Live ID on the phone and we need an activation code to finish setup," reads the warning. "You can call customer service to get the code, then enter it here. If you press Skip, we'll let you know the next time you do something that requires activation so you can call them."

Earlier this month it was discovered that Microsoft will swing the perma-ban-hammer on anyone modifying the phone to gain an extra dose of Xbox Live Achievement points. "This phone has been banned from Xbox LIVE for violating the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use," a file stated in a pre-final build of WP7. "To protect the Xbox LIVE service and its members, Microsoft does not provide details about phone bans. There is no recourse for Terms of Use violations."

As with Windows Genuine Advantage, it's only a matter of time before someone finds a way around Windows Phone 7's security. However consumers looking to use custom Windows Phone 7 ROMs may have a long wait ahead.

  • CrazeEAdrian
    Just another challenge for the crackers which they will find a way to overcome.
    Reply
  • dogman_1234
    "Genuine"? Isn't that what hackers call "Windows"?
    Reply
  • mlopinto2k1
    Is this good or bad?
    Reply
  • bv90andy
    mimicking the company's nagging Genuine Advantage software found in Windows

    yea, that wasn't a waste of time.
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    mlopinto2k1Is this good or bad?Is having the hardware you bought locked out at the whim of the manufacturer a good thing? Would you like that with your car?
    Reply
  • victorintelr
    Unhackable Windows: part of the Microsoft Utopia.
    Reply
  • sheytan
    Lol why whould anyone want WP7? Android FTW
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    CrazeEAdrianJust another challenge for the crackers which they will find a way to overcome.
    This one seems to be a bit more secure than even the PC based one. The PC based WGA uses hardware for its verification. It has a 10 point system which includes CPU, Memory, Mobo, HDD, NIC MAC Address and a few others. On first install you get 10/10. If you reinstall on the same hardware you get 7/10 (the HDD, NIC and MAC address change dropping 3 points) which is the lowest you can get to pass WGA without having to call in.

    This instead has specialized codes on the hardware itself which means that cracking it will be much harder.

    I don't doubt they can do it but I doubt it will be as easy as Android, PC Windows or even iOS.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones
    I'd prefer a working phone and don't really mind whats in there as long as it does. Just moved from a HD2 to a HD7 and couldn't be happier.
    Reply
  • opmopadop
    jhansonxiIs having the hardware you bought locked out at the whim of the manufacturer a good thing? Would you like that with your car?Have you tried to service a new car?
    Reply