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Microsoft Security Updates for Pirated Windows?

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the recalls-for-stolen-cars dept.

Security 1096

zachlipton writes "DSL Reports has an interesting question posted: should users with pirated copies of Windows be allowed to download security updates, such as for Sasser? Apparently, without a valid CD key, users cannot download these updates. Do they get what they deserve, or should they be allowed these updates through Windows Update in order to reduce the impact of these worms on the rest of the net? Should security updates only for worms be made available to pirated users, or also updates for issues that while not posing a risk to other internet users, would open the pirate up to a security hole?"

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fp (0, Offtopic)

jb_davis (732457) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081049)

Frost Pist!

FP H2k4 NY july 9-11 (-1, Offtopic)

cdf12345 (412812) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081052)


The fifth hope
july9-11 NEW YORK


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081065)

Linux Facists [slashdot.org]

Re:FP H2k4 NY july 9-11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081070)

For the sake of internet's bandwidth, they should at least get the updates that are exploited by DDoS worms ;)

Re:FP H2k4 NY july 9-11 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081085)

Hey! You did not get the FR157 PR057! Give it back! Give it back right nyaw!

What about MSDN windows (3, Interesting)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081055)

I am pretty sure MSDN version of windows XP don't have activation keys and such. Does that mean they can't upgrade?

I've got a much better idea! (0, Funny)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081088)

Redirect them at the backbone level to a page which sends them a copy of loadlin and a Mandrake 10.0 OEM network installer image. No more MSDN problems, and they can get their updates from a public mirror.

"Dodge this!"

Re:What about MSDN windows (4, Informative)

Satan's Librarian (581495) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081114)

Actually, they do. You have to request a key online on msdn.microsoft.com in the subscribers area, and you get one that's tied to your account - generally good for 10 uses for a professional-level MSDN subscription. It's rather a pain in the arse really, because it means that for those you have to be extremely careful with the number of times you activate them - which can put a bit of a crimp in your plans when you want to run a large test farm for a product with more than 10 PC's.

XP and Longhorn-beta are special that way. Most other packages (2000 included) have generic MSDN keys.

Re:What about MSDN windows (1, Interesting)

prshaw (712950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081119)

Yes they do have keys, and yes they can upgrade and patch.

Re:What about MSDN windows (1, Redundant)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081120)

MSDN comes with a 10 site license Key

Re:What about MSDN windows (3, Insightful)

saden1 (581102) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081126)

It is fair to say that all the pirated versions of windows in china and south east Asia infected with a virus can easily overwhelm any network.

It would be wise to provide patches for everyone.

Re:What about MSDN windows (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081143)

Yes they do... or rather you can get one through your MSDN subscribtion on the Microsoft website (presumably you've got an MSDN subscription if you're getting an MSDN version of Windows XP :) ). You just go there, tick the box for Windows XP and click request key. Your MSDN subscription then gets a product key for that product. I'm staring at the page right now.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

Re:What about MSDN windows (2, Informative)

Soko (17987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081163)

You would be wrong.

Last time I had an MSDN sub, all the products that required activation off the shelf also required activation when installed from the MSDN CDs. That includes Windows XP, Office XP, Visio 2002 and Windows Server 2003. IIRC, even VS.Net requires activation.

Microsoft ships you all of thier patches with the MSDN update CDs too, so you can test your application and find out what thier latest patches broke and why.

As I said, I haven't had access to MSDN for a couple of years, but I imagine this would still be the case.


Re:What about MSDN windows (4, Interesting)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081166)

There are corporate CDs out there that have been available for quite some time they only require a valid "volume license" cd key to operate. In point of fact, they ignore the stupid Activation BS and are what we use for Unattended installation scripts since they don't require activation once installed.

Then again I'm not an active member in the Warez community. I would assume something like this would be near holy grail status.

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081057)

Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyaaaaah!

already possible (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081061)

to get security updates with a pirated version of windows just use the microsoft baseline security analyzer duh!

Its all good anyway (1, Redundant)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081062)

because if they dont let me patch my OS, ill bring down the rest of the world's infastructure with me!!


why i laugh?

Hey lets support the thieves! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081063)

Pirates should get updates as much as they get support from any other product they stole: Zero.

Want software without paying for it? Use Free Software. Theres heaps of it.

Re:Hey lets support the thieves! (5, Funny)

bromba (538300) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081153)

But if they don't update, then the rest with legal copies is also affected when pirates computers get infected by worms.

I have a modest proposition: MS should made for pirates a "special" version of the security update: one that will disable the whole TPC/IP stack

Muahahahahaha!!!!! Take that, Mr. Pirate!!!!

Re:Hey lets support the thieves! (5, Informative)

mentin (202456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081216)

They can still download security updates from download area. You don't have to use windowsupdate.com to get updates. Go to technical bulletins, select one that you want to patch, download stand-alone fix.

Just pirate the patches (5, Insightful)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081064)

If they can pirate the operating system, why can't they just pirate the patches too?

Re:Just pirate the patches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081128)

Sure, just don't come whining when your copy of "SaSSeR-fIx.2004-xer0c00l.DVD.XViD.torrent.rar.gz" turns your Windows box into a warez dump for FTP kiddies.

Did you buy it? Did it come on non-rewriteable media? Did you download it from a certified mirror thru an encrypted tunnel? No? Then you can't trust it.

Re:Just pirate the patches (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081188)

But they already trusted a pirated copy of Windows.

Microsoft knows what they're doing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081072)

Whatever they decide will no doubt be best for everyone. Afterall, they have the resources to really look into the questions while all we can do is speculate.

Well (4, Interesting)

222 (551054) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081074)

If they cant download the updates, and havoc is all the more extreme because of poor MS coding, it only shines a brighter light on alternative operating systems.
Ive been saying forever that the year MS perfects its anti-piracy technique really WILL BE the year of the linux desktop, and this (at least in my eyes) is a step closer to that.

Re:Well (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081130)

no, the media is full of ignorant people who consistently fail to report linux etc. are not affected because they are fundamentally more secure - they make it sound like, "THIS time linux users were lucky to not be targetted".

please MS DO NOT allow updates. once people start having problems with Windows it provides the "activation energy" to bother thinking about changing to something else.

if MS made a genuine attempt to stop piracy it would be the beginning of their end.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081132)

I agree. One of the reasons Windows 95 took off so well is because of the rampant piracy. Really, piracy is Microsoft's friend because it is what has allowed it to poliferate into *everything*.

Re:Well (3, Interesting)

Joel Carr (693662) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081205)

Actually, not letting pirates update their copy of Windows I believe partly works in Microsoft's favour. I personally have 3 friends who have purchased a copy of Windows XP simply because of the hassles of trying to patch their pirated copies.


Re:Well (4, Interesting)

praksys (246544) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081206)

You hit the nail on the head. MS has no obligation to pirates, and no responsibility for the problems caused by pirates. But the problems caused by these insecure windows machines are a PR black-eye for MS, a pain for their paying customers, and a great reason for the pirates to switch to free software. If the pirates switch then that will eventually cut into the network effect [wikipedia.org] value of windows. If MS had any sense they would provide the patches to all. Fortunately I think it is unlikely.

Read carefully (4, Insightful)

News for nerds (448130) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081075)

the EULA attached to the security patches, even when you are legitimate owner of a copy of Windows!

Re:Read carefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081212)

Yeah. I just read the EULA for the Windows Media Player 9 update. Yikes.

Already a technical error... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081078)

Bull. I update my pirate copies of XP all of the time.

Tricky situation... (4, Interesting)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081081)

Its microsofts perogotive, theyre not in any way required to support pirated versions of their software, and why should they bother. On the other hand, these worms negativly effect everyone. Although if your smart enough to pirate windows (there are some tricks joe sixpack wouldn't know right away) you should be savy enough to get a keygen of kazza or something. Not that thats how i got XP SP1 or anything...

Re:Tricky situation... (5, Insightful)

Nerd With Nalgene (740915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081129)

Although if your smart enough to pirate windows

A great deal of windows piracy is by people who have absolutely no idea what they're doing. Other people do the pirating for them, and they just use the OS the same as if they had bought it.

oooooooooo lord yes (3, Insightful)

ResQuad (243184) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081083)

Not saying I pirate windows or anything of the sort. But jsut because they dont get patches doesnt mean they wont pirate. It just means that when worms come out, it will be that much worse. Pirates tend to be a lil smarter, and actually keep their systems up to date.

I would hate to see sasser or code red hit the large percetage of people that pirate, and CANT patch. Internet go byebye!

Beta versions and corporate license CDs (5, Informative)

frenztech (302220) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081084)

I've seen several "corporate" XP cds floating around, as well as some beta versions which contain all XP functionality once patched through Windows Update.

Microsoft disables some CD keys already which are known to be pirated, but I wonder how many valid corporate group cd key installations there are which have been pirated. In that case, it really wouldn't be feasible for MS to disable that cd key, as it would disable that entire company, etc.

two words... (1, Insightful)

DiS[EnDeR] (195812) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081089)

corporate edition.

Re:two words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081159)

http://www.livejournal.com/community/techsupport/2 62496.html

Of course (5, Interesting)

HenryFjord (754739) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081091)

It is fundamentally a companies sole responsibility to ensure that any flaws within its products are fixed. By using their own mistakes as a punishment for people who pirate that are propagating flawed copies of their software. Microsoft should allow any user of their products regardless of if they have a right to it to have updates. They can fight piracy in more responsible and effective ways, for there are other people who use the network.

Well (-1, Troll)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081092)

This is the land of "we want it all for free" so why the fuck not? Give 'em a parade and a beverage too.

Microsoft is not a charity (5, Insightful)

stere0 (526823) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081095)

Why should it have to pay for the bandwidth to support pirated copies? There is no benefit to them.

Most if not all infected Sasser users around here had legit but hadn't bothered to update. Real crackers use the corporate version of Windows that apparently doesn't require a CD key for updates.

Re:Microsoft is not a charity (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081145)

Why should it have to pay for the bandwidth to support pirated copies? There is no benefit to them.

It helps them maintain their monopoly. If people couldn't pirate Windows many of those people would switch to Linux.

Re:Microsoft is not a charity (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081154)

It does require a CD key, it's just that Microsft blacklisted some some well known cd keys, like the one starting with FCK...

Re:Microsoft is not a charity (1)

Trick (3648) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081209)

No benefit to them? I hardly think so. Imagine how much worse MS's current security problems would be if, on top of all the machines that currently *don't* get patch, you also had some unknown number of machines that *can't* be patched.

Judging from how many people I know who have less-than-legal copies of Windows, it could be a disaster. not just for unpatched machines, but for any networks they're attached to -- not to mention the entire rest of the Internet as they try to "reach out and touch someone" a few thousand times a second.

On a PR level, I'd say keeping their OS secure, whether paid for or not, would be a huge PR benefit for them, if nothing else.

Re:Microsoft is not a charity (5, Insightful)

vida (695022) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081225)

Why should it have to pay for the bandwidth to support pirated copies? There is no benefit to them.

I think, my friend, that therein lies the issue. Think about it for a minute and try putting yourself in MS place... You already developed your software. You already paid for it. You are spending no money in distributing it. You are not supporting in any way the people w/ pirated windows copies. The bandwith costs are negligible. 95% of all the new desktop computers sold pay a forty or so dollars tax to you. You are sitting on 50 billon dollars in fairly liquid assets. You are scared silly of open source advances... why in the world would you not provide free upgrades to a couple hundred thousand computers when the alternative they might chose is what scares you silly in the first place?

why are we even discussing this again?

Support (3, Insightful)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081096)

Support is Free ... duh, not like they have to pay for all that bandwidth or anything. They may be able to afford it, but why would any company (ala: Redhat) be forced to maintain something that wasn't purchased? All real property vs intellectual property ideals aside, that's like blaming Ford that your stolen car can't be serviced.

I have been of the oppinion that App level firewalls at the ISP level (hell even port blocking during worm-storms) is a necessary function. During the Nachi outbreak ISPs were killing ICMP just because of the sheer mass of pings flying around were bring down gear.

At the very least, ISPs should be responsible for the prevention of outbound malicious traffic, automated or manual (aka: crackers, kiddies etc.)
When they knowingly ignore the traffic traversing their network and wreaking havoc on others, I am always disgusted.

Not that my shit don't stink, but if I got a line spewing worm, it gets pulled till it's clean. Thank goodness for the public sector.

Re:Support (2, Insightful)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081224)

Do you understand what processing power ISP should have in order to filer the traffic at app-level?
The cost will skyrocket. Who gonna pay for that? Subscriber of course.

ms writes the viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081097)

to make all the warez xp's to buy a copy!

Yes. Let them download. (1, Redundant)

cableshaft (708700) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081099)

Yes, they should allow pirated copies to download the security updates. They'll just be turned into proxy servers to launch further attacks if they don't, and considering hackers are starting to target Microsoft's servers itself now with these proxies, I'd think it'd be in their best interests overall.

Besides, if I owned Microsoft I wouldn't really want to give these people yet another reason to switch over to Linux.

For a while... (2, Informative)

HFactor_UM (678556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081100)

...I was using a pirated version of Windows XP. I'm now using a 100% legit copy, thanks to the MSDNAA [umass.edu] and Microsoft's attempt at farming software dependencies.

It's probably in everyone's interest to give out patches to all, even those that Micro$oft knows are illegal copies, as it probably impacts the spread of viruses such as Sasser more than it does their pocketbook.

obligatory chappelle show quote.. (1)

ltwally (313043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081101)

"Ain't that a B!" -Rick James

Updates (2, Insightful)

evilmuffins (631482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081106)

Uhhh, you can still download updates with a pirated version of Windows Xp. There are many programs that anyone can easily download, that will generate, and put to use a new serial number that will allow you to use Windows Update.

Re:Updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081210)

Hit Google [google.com]

MSFT Can Pick Its Poison (4, Funny)

aerojad (594561) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081108)

Company profits vs. general good of the internet. I really wonder which one they'll choose.

(note that I left out writing better software)

Activation Key or CD Key? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081109)

Does this mean "activated" windows xp versions, or just ones with an cd key? I downloaded a version of XP Corporate, which is essentially XP Pro w/o needing to phone into Microsoft to "activate" it. I did need to find a CD key on one of those "Crackz & Serialz" sites. I haven't been able to use the automated Windows Update, but manually going to microsoft.com and downloading them has always worked for me... has this changed recently?

What do you expect? (1)

Nerd With Nalgene (740915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081110)

These people have pirated the software. == no support == no upgrades. Sure, it would help the rest of the net if they weren't spreading the worm, but since when has M$ considered the well-being of the internet their responsibility?

Who knows. (5, Funny)

modifried (605582) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081111)

Maybe it's something you could get used to.

Frank: Hey Bob, could I burn a CD on your computer?
Bob: Yeah sure.
Frank: Uhh. It says it's going to shut down in 60 seconds.
Bob: Yep. Gotta work fast.

Not quite, (2, Insightful)

Bon bons (734068) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081112)

Considering the vast amount of bandwidth that is sent out with each patch, I don't think it is unfair for M$ to prevent pirated copies from patching.

Give people more incentive to use linux instead of a pirated copy of XP.

Windows Xp Sp2 Latest Build (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081115)

The latest build( released in the last 4 days ) of the xp service pack2 beta, blocks a whole range of keys. People who have been using the corporate version of xp, using a keygen will find it will find it needs activating when the apply service pack 2.

The keygen(a very very very popular one) generates product keys in the range 640-645. SP2 turns activation back on when it detects this.

No. (1)

Imidazole (775082) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081116)

If you're using an illegal and UNSUPPORTED copy of windows, then, you should not be allowed to WindowsUpdate. I agree with this.

It's also a good incentive to be legit.

This is even up for discussion? (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081117)

That this is up for discussion shows how little Microsoft cares about the common good of the worlds internet users and therefore their customers.

Who was it said 'EULAs are what you use against your clients'?

Why should they be able to? (5, Interesting)

Maddog2030 (218392) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081121)

We need to create an environment where piracy is looked down upon, not encouraged. Giving them updates is simply encouraging pirate behavior.

If an infected machine becomes such a problem that they're affecting other people, ISP's should simply revoke a users access until they upgrade to the latest patches and remove the virus. A pirated version of Windows wouldn't be able to get the updates and therefore would probably keep on getting the virus, costing them a great deal of inconvience every time their internet is shut off. Not to mention the knowledge that thier machine is going to be swamped with viruses and that their computer will be completely insecure.

The best way to get rid of pirates is to make the cost of pirating greater than the cost of buying the software (or finding a legit alternative).

Security updates vs. Service packs (1)

michael path (94586) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081123)

I know with the installation of Windows XP SP1a, a specific activation code would not allow the service pack to install. This is obviously different from a security hotfix.

Not allowing security hotfixes for pirated copies isn't just a threat to the pirating user, but a threat to all legal users as well. When someone using the same web server as me and gets hit by Netsky, I AM GOING TO SUFFER. I own my copy of Windows 2000 Professional, and I periodically have a Linux machine going. I've done nothing morally wrong there, but I will suffer. Thats simply unacceptable.

Thinking business, could an ISP sue a user who is unable to resolve a security issue that pushes out 10K emails an hour if it was against their terms of service? Is it precedented?

I guess the short of my point is that it's not fair to the rest of the legal users when a pirated copy is responsible for bandwidth and storage abuse. No one should be denied security updates.

Doesn't allow update? (1)

sysbot (238421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081124)

This article is misleading and transend into a completely difference arene without even addressing it. The article refer to the use of Windows Update service which offer patches and scanning function of Windows XP machines and a user inability to use that service has NOTHING to do with wherether they can patch their machine or not because they can patch their machine using a regular method of download a file and run it or uses other Software Management system to get their system(s) updated without using ANY Microsoft service. So this question doesn't apply in this case. In order to answer the question, NO users should not be allowed to use a service that they didn't paid for which in this case the Windows Update service offered by Micro$soft.

Open but log (a way to profit) (1)

strredwolf (532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081131)

1. Open it up to all with a key
2. Log the ones who's key is invalid (unregistered)
4. PROFIT!!!

I have access (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081135)

I have pirated XP and I have access to windowsupdate and can install all patches.. ok i didnt install SP1 but thats not the only reason.. i have installed SP1 on other pcs and it works fine.. because I generated my own key, MS has a blacklist, but they cant block randomly generated keys because that would block all their keys since they're all random

Simple answer, but not... (5, Insightful)

Temsi (452609) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081136)

The simple answer is yes.
For the common good of the internet, as well as for the sake of protecting Microsoft's already spotty image, they should be allowed to download hotfixes... after all, they wouldn't need them if Micrsoft had done it right in the first place.

The corporate answer is no.
They didn't pay for the software and are therefore ineligible for updates.

My opinion?
For the common good, Windows should go away. But until then, everyone running it, legally or not, needs to have access to emergency patches and fixes.

Dumb. (1)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081137)

Many users say pirates who can't find workarounds should "reap what they sow", but their infected pirated Windows boxes impact non-pirates everywhere."

Umm except for that non-pirates can apply the patches which means they won't be infected. And if someone can't bother to take 2 minutes a month to install the updates then they probably don't care all that much whether their PC gets hosed. So what's the big deal? I'm on OS X and microsoft pirates not being able to patch hasn't hurt me any, so why should microsoft be forced to give amnesty?

Re:Dumb. (1)

SomeGuyFromCA (197979) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081203)

>> their infected pirated Windows boxes impact non-pirates everywhere."

> Umm except for that non-pirates can apply the patches which means they won't be infected

"Impact", not "infect".

> I'm on OS X and microsoft pirates not being able to patch hasn't hurt me any,

Oh really? What about slow 'net connections from all the worm traffic? What about all the infected emails that you get sent? What about the DDoS as wormed machines try to infect your machine?

Just because you haven't been infected, doesn't mean you're not affected.

xp updates (3, Informative)

arfuni (775132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081139)

I'm pretty sure that most copies of pirated XP floating around (the keyless corporate versions) will let users install everything but service packs. I don't know a lick about international piracy, but I imagine it's the same software.

Not sure what's going on exactly... (3, Informative)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081141)

I downloaded the patch to Win XP against Sasser [microsoft.com] , and it never even asked me for a CD key. (Which, given that I don't know where mine has gotten to now, is a good thing.)

Re:Not sure what's going on exactly... (2, Informative)

StevenMaurer (115071) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081173)

Ah yes, but if you actually try to run it on an unpatched system still vulnerable to Sasser, it will ask you to upgrade. And that upgrade requires a key.

I had to do this just a couple hours ago -- on my Tektronix scope (that happens to run Win2k).

Re:Not sure what's going on exactly... (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081204)

IIRC, Windows simply checks the key you installed with. No one would run any updates if you where required to dig out your serial number each time.

The obvious answer is no, but it may not right. (4, Insightful)

buro9 (633210) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081144)

Of course the initial response is to think that those who have pirated copies must not receive updates.

As with all things though it's seldom that simple.

When a company such as Microsoft gain a significant share of the market (yes... monopoly), then the damage that saying no could be could actually threaten the stability of that society were their software to fail sigificantly.

i.e. If machines cannot be patched with at least the bare security updates, and those machines then assist in the even wider propagation of a virus or worm such that it affects the infrastructure of the Internet as a more general thing.

Then in those cases, would it not have been a civic duty upon the company to protect the wider Internet and society (of their original shortcomings in allowing the vunerability to exist) regardless.

So I'm more of the opinion that No should be the answer for all bells and whistles things... such as Media Player. But that all security patches should be installed on every machine possible... regardless of whether that is a machine without a legit key or not.

Interesetingly, this is probably opposite Microsofts view. As to be able to manipulate market forces they need critical mass in areas suh as Media Player. So I think from their perspective they would probably wish to allow the whistles, but to encourage/force the upgrade to a legal version would probably wish to disallow stability patches (read: security) so that legit systems are more stable.

Re:The obvious answer is no, but it may not right. (3, Insightful)

The Vulture (248871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081214)

Microsoft, nor does any other company, have a civic duty - their only duty is to make the shareholders money.

That said, if a person did not legally acquire a product, they don't deserve support for it, I couldn't care less if it was a product that almost everybody had, and only one company made it.

I'd be in favor of Microsoft giving out the security update, if they tracked everybody who didn't have a valid license and then tried to sue said user.

If I bring a stolen car for service at any place that checks the VIN on the car, I can fully expect to be arrested, I don't see why people who copy software should be any different.

-- Joe

If you're not legally licensed, (3, Insightful)

The Vulture (248871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081147)

You don't deserve the software update.

Granted, these people not getting the software updates will cause problems for the rest of us, in that they're propagating some sort of virus.

My solution to that is to shut off the users. If the ISP of this user can prove that the user's PC is infected and sending out the virus, then it should be simple for the ISP to say, "patch it, or we're shutting you down".

I'm not really fond of ISPs snooping in on my traffic to determine whether or not to cut me off, so they should base it on a complaint system - if somebody complains that you're spreading the virus, then the ISP investigates (I recall lots of people with logs of Code Red attacks). If they find proof that you're spreading the virus, then you're forced to patch, or if you can't, you're shut down.

Extreme, perhaps, but the only way that people will properly maintain their machines.

-- Joe

Don't let Californians decide! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081149)

Look at what they did to those poor illegal aliens that needed medical care! ;-)

TechNet is an option (1)

Elamaton (771817) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081150)

The people running pirated versions of Windows can simply d/l their updates from TechNet, optionally with the aid of the freely available Baseline Security Analyzer tool, which conveniently provides direct TechNet links for all the vulnerabilities it discovers. No CD key checks there that I know of. Of course, this approach requires a certain level of sophistication and know-how, but in a sense, pirates are already allowed access to the updates.

I've seen a couple of TechNet update pages, though, that don't provide direct download links, but instead refer to Windows Update (or WU Catalog).

Not that I'd know any of this from experience or anything...

Yea, Bill Gates, do that (1)

timlyg (266415) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081151)

Do that pirate blocking thing...Yes...

So we can all switch to LINUX!

Use your head if you are a businessman.

What's the cost of profit dum dum dimsum

My 2 cents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081155)

Can't really say without knowing what the impact of unpatched pirated software really is. Course, i'm not going to hold my breath waiting for good data on this.

The way the game is played (1)

nate nice (672391) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081161)

Ok, here's how it works. If you're smart enough to get a pirate copy of Windows, you're smart enough to get the update the same way. Why would you go through Microsoft to get their updates if you "pirated" their software? Go through the regular sources, right? I'm actually supised MS doesn't install a "patch" on systems without a key that make the system unusable. Seems to me like a good way to keep users that don't pay on the edge to the point where some of them will break down and pay. Then again, that's why I use Linux. I thought this was a Linux based site anyways?...

If you didn't pay for it, you don't deserve update (1)

Tender Vittles (746105) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081164)

Regardless of how MS is the evil empire or whatever we're calling them this week, you shouldn't receive support if you didn't pay for it. They make a product, and if you choose to use it, then you should pay for it. Yes, their license costs an arm and a leg, but there's no excuse that warez monkeys should receive support. If I pirate WineX, should I be able to email the developers and ask for help on something? I'm not a developer, but if I was and I sold a commercial product, I'd be pissed off if someone had the audacity to ask me for updates if they willingly STOLE my work in the first place.

Yes they should allow updates (1)

BigDish (636009) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081167)

Microsoft should allow pirated copies to update for a number of reasons. First off, unpatched Windows machines make life worse for EVERYONE, and just makes Microsoft look worse. Secondly, why push people more toward Linux (from MS's point of view) Personally, I'm using XP Corporate installs at home. Is it legal? No. Do I feel guilty? Not in the least. Why not? Because I actually have MORE LEGIMATE XP PRO LICENSES THAN I HAVE XP PRO INSTALLED ON. I have 3 LEGIMATE XP Pro licenses, and 2 computers with XP Pro installed on them. I just am constantly changing hardware, and activation is a pain, so I install off a corporate CD to avoid it. I've been meaning to switch my main desktop to Linux anyway (I allready have more Linux boxes than Windows ones) If I couldn't update my XP corp install, it would probably be the push I need to do it...

One more problem in update? (1)

Smiglo (764447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081170)

Here in Poland, the only legal M$ software is in business or preinstalled. People who buy hardware with preinstalled soft are usualy technicaly illiterate. If for some reason update procedure becomes more complicated they'll simply abandon it.
So I think its good idea to make procedure complicated :) I work as helpdesk/(repair that crap) :)

A tough call, indeed. (5, Insightful)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081171)

On the one hand there is piracy. Even if you say it's an advantage for Microsoft because of more dependency, the truth is that it isn't what they want people doing with their product, and it is illegal. If you want the support you should fork over for the product; after all Windows is about as Not-Free-Software as you can get. Perhaps if it wasn't such as widespread, costs to cover piracy would come down, and Windows would be cheaper and thus more easily availible. A rock and a hard place, people will need to buy before they can afford, and the numbers on actual piracy are way out of the realm of possible statistical analysis.

That being said, not getting security updates can cause problems for the Internet as a whole, not to mention for valid Windows users as pirate machines which can't be patched propigate viruses. That is more than just a problem for the people with bootleg'd copies themselves, that causes network congestion and performance problems for valid users as well. I know my Apache logs are still crammed with exploit attempts...

It's a question of responsibility vs. assisting lawbreakers. My (personal, humble) opinion is that Microsoft should allow security patches to all copies of Windows as it defeats expliots and worms/virii much quicker, but as for feature upgrades and bug fixes which are not a security issue, Microsoft should withold those unless the user has a valid serial key. True seriousness about security means defeating the problem for more than just customers, it means providing a better enviroment for everyone. This, I believe, is the root of the problem in the Microsoft attitude, and it's kind of sad that the largest software company on Earth can't see far enough past their bottom line to make such a move.

No one is (or should) ask them to give away anything more than saftey.

They're not the first to do this (1)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081180)

I don't know who the first was but notably Valve is doing this with their software through Steam [steampowered.com] . Once you register your CD key with Steam you get access to that game and mods for that game. Patches, when released, are automatically pushed to your computer (unless you specify otherwise). There are no updates to download; for example, if you go to the Counter-Strike web site [counter-strike.net] and click on "downloads" you'll be directed to the Steam website.

I've read there are no keygens for Steam accounts, though I guess you could share a key if you don't play online (and limit yourself to a LAN, e.g.)

i can patch (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081181)

i don't know about yous guys but my "functional offsite backup copy" of xp get updates and patches

Oh geeezzz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081183)

Get one of those XP window key generator

you should be able to search google for that program

Left one out (1, Flamebait)

davmoo (63521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081185)

Actually there is a third option...

Microsoft quits releasing software that has so many fucking bugs and security holes.

Seriously, getting around Microsoft's restrictions on keys is so trivial even my mother could do it. Anyone who isn't already applying updates even on a pirated copy wouldn't apply them if they were openly allowed to anyway. Lazyness and apathy is more of a problem.

Well.... (1)

Nooloo (775766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081187)

If a thief breaks into your house and steals your stereo does that entitle him to the warranty if it should break? No. Should be people who steal Windows be entitled to updates, absolutely not.

Already seeing a trend... (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081189)

Ok, i'm just gonna come out and say it, who here's running that pirated corporate version of XP Pro? I'll be the first to admit it, my computer came with XP home and i was having printer problems, a friend of mine got me a cd and i upgraded to pro fixed the problem, not even sure why though. Never had a problem with any of the usual updates and hotfixes. When SP1 was released i tried to install it but it wouldn't let me, invalid cd key, comtact microsoft piracy hotline blah, blah, 5 minutes on kazzaa and i had a keygen for "m$ xP P40 c0rp-ed" or something like that. Changed my key, installed the service pack no problem. I bet a lot of people have done the same. If your enough of a cluebie to be able to install pirated software (there are a few tricks), your probably the type of person who keeps your system patched. Its mom & pop sixpack who bought their $400 dell with XP home and open every e-mail they get that lead to massive worm outbreaks, aside from the flaws with windows and especially outlook... Hopefully SP2 will help that some, since its focus is on security (enables the firewall, pop up blocking, port closing etc), but unfortunatly those of us savvy enough to install this will be the ones least in need of it. People from todays generation need to get their parents to stop treating computers like toasters, it doesn't "just work"(macs nonwithstanding... :p).

Should a car thief get warranty repairs? (1)

PHPhD2B (675590) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081190)

If you use pirated software, you have not paid for the right to use that software. Like it or not, creators of software get to charge for the right to use their software. It is, after all, their intellectual property.

One can argue the safety of the 'net (patches against worms and such), but the responsibility for any worm infestation on a computer running a pirated OS falls on the user of pirated software.

pirated copies should not get patches (1)

Fortun L'Escrot (750434) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081192)

it is simple really. when an unsanctioned copy is made the copy becomes an outcast child and traditionally the parents and the rest of the community do not acknowledge your existence so if you are ever in a danger they can witness they will not help you. MS should not have to support unauthorized use of its software. that said, if the pirates can find a way to get access to those patches and even install them, that is fair game as well. if the outcast manages to find a way to survive on their own, then they are achieving the ultimate goal, that of preservation/survival. a world view shared by the parents and the rest of the community. they shun the outcast but not kill them. they leave it up to nature to decide the outcasts fate. obviously MS is not at all like the above imagery. MS would never consider it fair game that you have and use an unauthorized copy of windows xp. but still the outcast must fend for themselves. this is one point of view. another is where every copy of windows XP is supported by patches. simply because an unauthorized copy of windows xp can exist on a network connected to authorized copies of windows xp. now if only the authorized copies recieved patches that would leave the unauthorized copies vulnerable effectively making the whole network icnreasingly susceptible to exploitation by worms and viruses. supporting every copy by giving authorized copies several dedicated sources to download from, and the unauthorized get a lousy .torrent . this way MS gains more control over the image of its product. less negative press can occur because of exploitation simply by supporting unauthorized copies.

Can't they... (2, Interesting)

ilyag (572316) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081196)

.. download the patches form Windows Catalogue? Or do even they not work? What about service packs?

Why? (1)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081197)

You didn't pay for Windows, why should you get the support that paying customers get? Should RedHat continue giving support to someone who pirated their way in to their support system even after it's discovered they're not a legitimate customer? Of course not.

You don't need a Windows patch to prevent viruses. These pirates need to grow a brainstem and install anti-virus software which does just as well keeping their system clean.

Of course, they probably don't want to pay for that either. They want everything free and then when they get screwed over they act like someone owes them something.

People with legitmate copies of Windows are perfectly capable of being immune from the infected pirated copies so why should they care that pirated copies of Windows are doing overtime infecting each other?

If it's really that big of a deal, ISPs can deal with users who are infected.


eh... (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081198)

to me, it sounds like "just desserts" all around...

Hey, I just had a good idea. Is there any kind of signature, left behind on the user's computer by the various cracked versions, that a worm might be able to pick up on, or any way in general a genuine copy always differs from a cracked copy? Because if there is, then I can imagine lots of forthcoming fun and even some beneficial side effects.

no feature upgrades (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9081200)

I'd say from a busniess perspective as well as impact on the net, Microsoft should allow any users (pirated or not) to download security updates. Feature upgrades and the like should probably require cd-key validation.

Direct link to the forum thread... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081201)

Here [broadbandreports.com] . It is an interesting discussion.

Jackbooted thugs vs Pirates (1)

porp (24384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081211)

Apparently, without a valid CD key, users cannot download this crap. Yeah, right, there are people who cannot click on Windows Update and whom get denied access because of an invalid key? Where are the stories of Jack Sparrow's being indicted of stealing software through MS's benevolent Windows Update service? I haven't seen any.

Microsoft lets people with installed versions of their OS freely update exploited code with patches. End of story.

Let's say there's a day when MS can somehow subvert these pirate dudes. Okay, only people who paid them can receive updates. But that really isn't going to happen.

As long as there are thousands and thousands of illegally installed versions of their OS, MS will definitely allow all with access to patches. I mean, if they didn't, that would mean checking for data, sending data, verifying it: spyware. As bad as MS is, they at least let you know when you update your Windows that no information is being sent. Why? Courtesy? They realize it's naughty to do that. For now.

But, anyway, publicity matters. These worms and shit hurt MS. As long as there are illegal copies around, MS will let their patches live free. And even if there exists a small percentage of unpaid installs, MS will provide free patches from the goodness of their hearts. Put quotations around that.


sure (1)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 10 years ago | (#9081213)

and a burglar who breaks into my house at night, trips on the stairs, and breaks a leg is entitleds to sue me. holy crap. while i use os x and linux, i don't buy microsoft products, i respect their right to publish thier software under any license they see fit. and if i'm unwilling to agree to the terms, then that's my decision. all this would do is be rewarding people for breaking the law. what a stupid idea.

oh wait, there's this amnesty plan for illegals. shit, there goes that theory.
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