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Microsoft Draws Fire For Stealth Test Program


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#1 quietman7

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:51 AM

Millions of Windows users may unwittingly be test subjects for an unfinished Microsoft antipiracy tool.

The software maker has been delivering a prerelease version of Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications software to PCs as a "high priority" item in the built-in update feature in Windows...used to validate the authenticity of Windows software installed on a PC...But some security experts are troubled by Microsoft's decision to deliver prerelease software to millions of Windows users without clearly notifying them. People may not realize they are participating in a trial and have in essence become unsuspecting guinea pigs,...

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#2 rms4evr

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 02:41 PM

*Insert deep sigh* Everytime I think Microsoft has gone too far, they always walk that extra mile.

Why am I not suprised?

#3 quietman7

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 12:59 PM

Information collected during validation according to MS.

Q: What information is collected from my computer?

A: The genuine validation process will collect information about your system to determine if your Microsoft software is genuine. This process does not collect or send any information that can be used to identify you or contact you. The only information collected in the validation process is:

* Windows product key
* PC manufacturer
* Operating System version
* PID/SID
* BIOS information (make, version, date)
* BIOS MD5 Checksum
* User locale (language setting for displaying Windows)
* System locale (language version of the operating system)
* Office product key (if validating Office)
* Hard drive serial number

But there's more according to Microsoft's Calling Home Problem: It's a Matter of Informed Consent
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#4 tos226

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 07:28 PM

And more ...
Brian Livingston, of the Windows Secrets fame, has a comprehensive comments about genuine advantage as well. People, it's worse than you thought
Issue 77 6/15/2006 http://windowssecrets.com/comp/060615/

I see that quietman7's reference is along the same lines. Sorry for jumping in.

Edited by tos226, 15 June 2006 - 07:29 PM.


#5 graveangel

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:06 AM

Microsoft for all the genius stature that surrounds them,i can not help but feel frustration towards them.
I have WGAN running on my laptop,sadly automatically downloaded.
Now i know i can stop it dialing home through my firewall,im just wondering if i do,will it have any side effects on my system,such as windows updates or even just performance. I know that if i do block it,i can allow it again,but why all the lies and aggrovation Microsoft.............WHY??? :thumbsup:
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#6 Scarlett

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 11:16 AM

Great question graveangel! I'd like to know as well.

If M$ has access to one's hard drive serial number. Then what else are they able to access? :thumbsup:
I am not comfortable with this at all! No way, no how! :flowers:

Is it ethical or even legal??

Edited by Scarlett, 16 June 2006 - 11:20 AM.

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#7 yano

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 01:01 PM

See this is why I got my firewall to block the "Genuine Advantage" thing. Cause Microsoft has no right knowing anymore about my computer beside my product key.

#8 Scarlett

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 02:40 PM

The more I think about this, the more it :thumbsup: me off!

How does one block Genuine Advantage?
I have ZA Firewall.

Edited by Scarlett, 30 June 2006 - 02:40 PM.

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#9 Lily Livered

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 04:00 PM

Sooooo, I shouldn't have installed "Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool (KB892130)"???

My Windows Update History shows that I installed it on June 3rd, along with "Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474)".

I only installed them because I thought it was needed since it was a High Priority. BUT, each time Zone Alarm pops up with the whatever the WGAVT needs to do, I've ALWAYS clicked "Deny" so far because I wanted to find out more about it first, which I've not done until:

Today, Windows Update is showing that I need another high priority, Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (KB905474), (same as above).

So do I need (or can I if need be) to remove those first two items I mentioned? Do I need to go ahead and get the new one it shows today?

Do I need to just block the ones I've already installed, when ZA pops up with it, as others here are suggesting?

Help me pleeease; I have absolutely no idea what to do. Thank you!
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#10 quietman7

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 04:13 PM

How to disable or uninstall the pilot version of Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications
Article: 921914
Last Review: June 30, 2006
Revision: 2.0
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#11 Lily Livered

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 04:21 PM

I guess that's a resounding "YES" from a quietman!!?!

Thanks!!!!
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#12 quietman7

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 04:23 PM

...Microsoft's WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) tool could soon be at the centre of a class-action lawsuit in the US...The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Seattle on Monday, alleges the program violates consumer-protection laws in California and Washington state, and laws against spyware, invasive programs that surreptitiously collect data...

pcadvisor.co.uk/news

More at Groklaw.

Edited by quietman7, 30 June 2006 - 04:34 PM.

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#13 rms4evr

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 06:00 PM

...Microsoft's WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) tool could soon be at the centre of a class-action lawsuit in the US...The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Seattle on Monday, alleges the program violates consumer-protection laws in California and Washington state, and laws against spyware, invasive programs that surreptitiously collect data...

pcadvisor.co.uk/news

More at Groklaw.

:thumbsup: L-O-S-E-R-S!!!!!

I agree with the lawyers on this one...phoning home every hour on the hour and saying legal copies are illegal, is just wrong. And gathering info from our hard drives borders on illegal itself!! I thought that you needed a warrent before you poked around on someones HD...or does that make too much sense for M$?

#14 graveangel

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 07:19 PM

Still,the big issue remains...........in order to recieve our updates and future downloads, we still have to have the WGA programme, and what a complete load of **** it is.

Microsoft, however we look at it, have us eating out of there hands, if we want what is RIGHTFULLY ours!

Ridiculous if you ask me!
:thumbsup:
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#15 Lily Livered

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 08:48 PM

Okay, Miss Thick here again.

How are you all handling this since we "must have it to be able to get later (new) updates?

Are you ALL doing the register thing? Are you disabling it in the registry by making it "old" or are you uninstalling?

And what if a person knows NOTHING whatsoever about "logging on to the computer by using an account that has administrative permissions"?

Yes, I've seen, at times (but WHEN, I can't recall) where I must choose to log in as Administrator or as Kristina, but I have no idea what the administrator name/password would be.

Yes, this is my own computer. No one else uses it, EVER.
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