When something is in high demand, it usually does not take long before it is being exploited in one way or the other. While the verdict is still not in if Microsoft's newest operating system is a hit or not, it is certain that it is quite the popular topic on the Internet since its release.
Windows 8 ISO images are readily available on various P2P indexing sites and other sources, what users do not get there though is a product key that is needed to register the operating system. What may be included on the other hand are fake keyword generators that supposedly generate a legit Windows 8 product key when run.
A key generator is sometimes supplied with cracked applications if the cracker managed to find out which algorithm for key generation has been used by the developer.
The two programs that Trend Micro got hold of are fake, which means that they try to make the user believe that they can activate Windows 8 when run. What they actually do however is try to get the user to send an SMS to a number to activate the operating system. That's not as bad as it could be, considering that they could also try and install a trojan, virus or other form of malware on the user system. The programs connect to web pages for click fraud in addition t the SMS scam.
Experienced users will likely spot the scam once they come to the page where the program requests that a SMS needs to be sent to continue. The interface language may prevent others from going any further, even though that may be easily fixed with a language patch or updated.
One of the programs disguises itself as a Windows 8 downloader, the other as an activator program (Windows 8 Activator 2011) that activates the operating system when run.
The scam takes advantage of Windows 8's popularity and it is likely that it is doing quite well in the market that it is targeting.It is obviously best to ignore these types of programs completely, especially since you may end up with something that is worse than a request to activate via SMS.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.