back to article Microsoft seeks Comcast subpoena to nab activation pirates

Microsoft has asked a US court to issue a subpoena to Comcast, in a bid to obtain subscriber-to-IP address information on users alleged to have pirated en mass copies of Windows and Office platforms. The subpoena filed with a Washington US District Court seeks to identify users behind IP address alleged to have …

  1. Michael Habel

    Not using a OEM Signed BIOS and just locating the correct Certs needed to bypass all that BS...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It was me...

    I've been connecting to an unsecured wifi network at the coffee shop across the street to the bus stop I use every morning on my way to the NSA.

    Good luck catching me you boobs.

    Signed, Anonymous.


  3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Why is this news?

    To be honest, this is your normal bread-and-butter law enforcement. Suspected crime with enough evidence to pass due process, warrant for information. That's how it is supposed to work.

    Or is it because it involves Microsoft and they can't play a "you wouldn't steal a handbag" video before the installer starts? :)

  4. AndyS


    > The intelligence is gleaned from activation information voluntarily shared with Microsoft.

    What, as in Windows-calling-home voluntarily?

    Is that what this is being called now?

    1. Velv

      Re: Voluntarily

      You agreed to the license, you agreed voluntarily it can phone home. Nobody FORCED you to agree to the license, there is alternative software out there (or so the Fanbois and Linux people keep claiming)


    2. Dan Wilkie

      Re: Voluntarily

      To be fair, when you go through the Microsoft Product Activation Wizard, and choose Activate Online, it's pretty bloody obvious that it will be connecting to the Activation servers when it says it's going to connect to the Activation servers.

      This is where their information came from - it's probably Win7 as nobody in their right mind would pirate Win 10.

      1. Michael Habel

        Re: ain their right mind...

        Save that Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 are the gateway drugs to Windows 10. Since MicroSoft would just as gleefully ram it down anyones throat. Who wasn't smart enough to avoid all those cleverly hidden Windows 10 Installers. That came with a 'Critical' Warrning attached, to 'em.

      2. NotBob

        Re: Voluntarily

        I thought they were giving 10 away, couldn't get people to take it any other way and all...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Hard-disk loading software piracy?

    'One prominent form of software piracy is known as “hard-disk loading,” .. which are often sold in competition with .. devices pre-installed with legally licensed copies of software.'

    Are they selling unlicensed Windows or is it a business selling legally acquired copies of Windows?

  6. Keith Glass

    50 quatloos says. . . .

    . . . . it's an unsecured WiFi router with absolutely vanilla default settings, in Pig's Knuckle, Texas. . .

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: or is it a business selling legally acquired copies of Windows?

    I wonder if it is using grey market software, that no-one other than a greedy giant with clever lawyers would have an issue with.

  8. Mahhn

    MS activated the software themselves, they didn't have to. Game companies don't let you activate software more than the licenses allow, so it's not difficult.

    MS chose to activate it, thus making it legal.

  9. td97402

    Small to Medium System Builder No Doubt

    I run into it in my business all the time. Some of my competition routinely sells systems with a pirate copy of Windows and/or Office. Pirate copies of Windows 7 have been running around forever.

  10. hellwig

    Was it malicious?

    2000 times over 2 years, so... 5 times a day? Maybe it's just an ignorant software developer who took a snapshot of their drive BEFORE they activated it. Every time they re-imaged the machine/VM, Windows automatically called home to activate. Could be possible.

    1. David Austin

      Re: Was it malicious?

      Guessing Microsoft have more evidence to say yes, their mass counterfitters, but 2000 activations over 5 years could be done by a small to mid sized repair shop in innocent circumstances: They rip the Windows/Office keys off the system before formatting and wiping the systems, then try to activate them. Not their fault if the home user got a knock off enterprise version of office and Windows Ultimate given to them by their teenage cousin who gave them a "Free Upgrade"....

      1. td97402

        Re: Was it malicious?

        Yeah, no, if it's a reputable shop they're not going to reload windows based on a hand written key-code taped on to the side of the computer or a licence they rip from the registry. If you want me to reload your windows you best have a valid COA somewhere on the machine or a legit retail box copy of Windows. I just don't need any visits from Microsoft lawyers.

  11. ParasiteParty

    They could just Google it...

    And then start playing Knights and Dragons :-)

  12. Herby

    At least they didn't ask for...

    An address like

    Then again, maybe the lawyers did and modified the request. Kinda like looking at a mirror and saying "You talking to me??".

    I'll wait until it turns out being a Microsoft employee that was leaking activation codes (or code generators), and they get thrown in the klink.

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