Microsoft CD Key Authentication Revealed!

Written by Donald Moore (MindRape)

(You won't see this on their MSDN Level 2 CD!)


This document will cover details about what makes up a Microsoft CD Keys and how they are authenticated.
With the rush in of Windows'95, Microsoft has implemented a CD Key to either help foil piracy or to track their software thoughout the world. It was brought to my attention by a Microsoft Production Manager that they use this for their regional tracking, and also for product codes. They also understand the weakeness of the key.

I find this a little bothersome. Here are some points:

If you can answer these questions please inform me!.

In either case, the CD Key is real a hassle on my part. I either lose the cases or my kids eat the sticker. Great how am I suppose to reinstall my software when my system crashes? Also if this IS being used as a scheme to foil piracy. It doesn't work, because one can easily copy the CD as well as the key.

C Source code is provided to show how a key can be authenticated.

CD Key Details

Key Authentication

The algorithm to the authentication routine is a VERY simple one. One can write a small amount of source code that will randomly generate valid CD Keys. Lets use the following key as an example: 666-0077640 (Lucky Number 7's MS Key)

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