You might want to just say no to WAT. (RemoveWAT 2.2.8 for Windows 7 WAT)
Windows Activation Technologies Update for Windows 7 – KB971033 is coming.
“this update will detect more than 70 known and potentially dangerous activation exploits. Activation exploits are sometimes called “hacks”, and attempt to bypass or compromise Windows’ activation technologies. This new update is further evidence of Microsoft’s commitment to keeping customers and partners secure. The update will determine whether Windows 7 installed on a PC is genuine and will better protect customers’ PCs by making sure that the integrity of key licensing components remains intact.” “The Update will run periodic validations (initially every 90 days).”
Is Microsoft saying that your product key is exposed to hacker “Activation exploits”:
Exploits which can replace your once valid product key with another key? It would appear this is the case else why does WAT need to run every 90 days. Once you key is validated why should you need to prove and prove and prove again you are running a legal version of Windows 7.
“The Update is designed to run on all editions of Windows 7, although we will distribute first to the Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise editions. It will be available online at www.microsoft.com/genuine beginning February 16 and on the Microsoft Download Center beginning February 17. Later this month, the update will also be offered through Windows Update as an ‘Important’ update.” . Later this month is another way of saying it is a non patch Tuesday update or better known as an “Out Of Band” update. These OOB updates are starting to occur more frequently lately even for Vista and Windows XP.
Except China, according to the Inquirer article:
“While Microsoft intends to roll out this WAT update snooping program in most parts of the world by the end of February, it won’t be pushing it in China until summer. Quite why Microsoft is delaying the rollout of this update in the Middle Kingdom remains unclear given that China is the country with the highest rate of counterfeit and hacked versions of the Vole’s software.”
It would appear that Microsoft is giving China’s hackers all the time they need to come up with a way to defeat WAT while the rest of us get the short end of the stick.
Who Owns Your PC? New Anti-Piracy Windows 7 Update “Phones Home” to Microsoft Every 90 Days:
The release of Windows 7 “Update for Microsoft Windows (KB971033)” will change the current activation and anti-piracy behavior of Windows 7 by triggering automatic “phone home” operations over the Internet to Microsoft servers, typically for now at intervals of around 90 days.
I recommend that you strongly consider rejecting the manual installation of the Windows Activation Technologies update KB971033, and do not permit Windows Update to install it (this will require that you not have your PC configured in update automatic installation mode, which has other ramifications — so you may wish to consult a knowledgeable associate if you’re not familiar with Windows Update configuration issues).
WAT is not new, its part of Windows 7:
Windows Activation Technology is part of Windows 7 and the replacement for the much wider known Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) many of you may have noticed when updating earlier versions of Windows and KB971033 is just a Windows 7 update to WAT. It’s the “Phone Home” every 90 day that’s stirred the pot.
I’ve always had my Windows computer’s Automatic Updates turned off:
First I wait to see what the feedback is on update after Patch Tuesday (second Tuesday of the month) for any known problems. I create an Image Backup of Windows prior to installing the updates, this give me a way to return the computer back to the way is was before a particular update installed and failed or in some other way creates unwanted side effects.
How to change Windows 7 Automatic Updates:
Start/Control Panel/All Control Panel Items/Windows Update. On the left side you will find as list of options, click ‘Change Settings’ and in the ‘Important Updates’ pull down choose ‘Never check for updates’. The ‘Recommended Updates’ box can remain checked. If you want total control of installing updates on a home computer then uncheck the ‘Who can install updates’ Allow all users box. Click the ‘OK’ button.
Next click on ‘Check for Updates’. Windows will list but not download or install any updates at this point. To view the available updates just click the ‘important updates are available’ or ‘optional update are available’ links.
Pick and choose which updates you want installed:
You will note that when viewing the list of important updates they are all selected. For a brief description about an update just click on the KBXXXXXX number to highlight it and read the text on the right hand side of the window. To stop a specific update from installing, just click on the box on the left thereby removing the checkmark. Never want it to show up in the list after you have deselected it, right click and select ‘Hide update’.