Did Microsoft crack a customer's Windows 10 to activate it?
Windows activation issues are not uncommon, but a support chat or call with Microsoft usually resolves the issue for customers. A South African Microsoft customer published about his experience with Microsoft support on Twitter regarding the activation of a Windows 10 license that he purchased.
When the activation of a Microsoft Store bought Windows 10 license failed, Microsoft support logged in via Quick Assist to run a well-known crack to activate the version of Windows.
Windows Product Activation
Microsoft Windows, Office and several other products need to be activated to unlock their full potential. It is a form of DRM that Microsoft has been using for decades to differentiate between genuine copies of Windows and pirated versions.
Most of the time, Windows users may type a product key during setup or when the system is up already, to activate it. The operation may fail sometimes, and Microsoft supports additional methods to get things sorted out for customers. Both of these options involve calling a number. There is an automated system option, which assists customers in activating their copy of Windows, and an option to talk with an official Microsoft representative, if that automated activation fails.
Pirated versions of Windows use activation cracks to turn the operating system into an activated copy. These work then just like legally activated systems of Windows.
Elevation and a Windows crack
The customers issue was elevated by Microsoft support and it was agreed that a Microsoft support engineer would log on to the system using Quick Assist to resolve the activation issue.
What happened next was probably not what the customer expected. According to his report, which he documented with two photos taken from the Windows system, Microsoft's engineer ran a PowerShell script to grab a Microsoft Activation script from a well-known cracking site (massgrave.dev)
The Windows 10 activation script was downloaded and executed on the local system, and as a result of that, Windows 10 was activated.
No explanation was provided by the Microsoft engineer or Microsoft. The customer contacted the maintainer of the site and script on Discord, and was told that he was not the first on whose system the script was used by official Microsoft support.
It seems highly unlikely that the used method is sanctioned officially by Microsoft. Most Microsoft customers might not want cracking scripts to run on their devices, especially in business environments. A more likely explanation is that one or more Microsoft support engineers are using shortcuts to close support tickets faster.
One would also think that Microsoft has additional tools at its disposal to sort out any activation issues without resorting to third-party tools to do the job for them.
We contacted Microsoft for comment, but have not heard back yet.
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