Vista installation appears to be very different from the multi-reboot procedure known from previous versions. Apparently the Vista DVD’s will simply contain a compressed disk image (in a proprietary Microsoft .wim format) which will simply be copied onto your drive. This is actually not a horribly bad idea, and it should really streamline corporate deployment, especially since it is a file based – not sector based image. This means that you can essentially decompress it to any existing windows partition without the need to format it and etc..
If you read the linked article you will also see that MS makes it relatively trivial to add new drivers, or software to the WIM image. This is also a great feature for corporate world, as it will let IT departments easily slipstream all the needed software and drivers into their network installs. The downside of this of course is that it is similarly easy for someone to modify the core Vista system files by for example installing bunch of trojans, and then create a new WIM image of the compromised system. It appears that some people out there started doing precisely that, and are now injecting pre-0wnt WIM’s into popular torrent networks.
So here is a word of advice – do yourself a favor, and do not download cracked Vista. It’s not worth it. The OS is a retarded POS, it has more DRM than features, and your system might be 0wned out of the box so to speak.
There is one thing that strikes me as suspicious here – how could MS development team miss this vulnerability? They could have prevented it if they really wanted to, seeing how they really, really put allot of effort into preventing users from actually doing anything useful with digital media. So why would they leave this huge hole open for malicious crackers to exploit?
Perhaps they just didn’t care. Perhaps this is part of their anti-piracy strategy. First they lock out cracked version of windows from Windows Update. Now they make it trivial to create compromised Vista images, hoping that this will flood the file sharing networks with unusable copies.
And in the meantime they can just have their PR goons spread the FUD about how dangerous it is to download and install pirated Vista. This is quite ingenious actually. Too bad that this won’t really stop idiots from getting their illegal copies from shady sources. The net result will simply be a sharp increase in the number of zombified machines connected to the internet…
[tags]microsoft, windows, vista, trojan, security, widnows vista, wim[/tags]