Nokia engineer blogs on Windows 8 game hacks

December 12, 2012 by Nancy Owano weblog

(—Nokia Engineer Justin Angel works with Windows 8 and decided to share on his blog site what he eventually discovered: Various tactics can succeed in pirating Windows 8 games distributed through the Microsoft Windows Store. Savvy hackers so inclined to do whatever it takes to avoid paying for in-game purchases could succeed, and could also remove ads from games by editing files, and even fiddle with trial versions of games to get the full release for free. Angel explained the different ploys that are possible by using some games as the report's case examples. In so doing, Angel, who formerly worked for Microsoft before joining Nokia, would not want to be mistaken for being out to establish a school for game-cheating scoundrels. He posted his findings because he wanted his findings to be educational, so that developers and Microsoft could benefit "from an open exchange of knowledge."

Developers who rely on their revenue streams from games would most likely be to his Windows 8 report and reflecting on how such actions could affect their revenue. Developers may count on offering free trial downloads for further uptake yet would not want to know that by so doing they were opening themselves up to . Assorted maneuverings may involve injecting code into the buying process or changing games-associated files. Angel said the weaknesses stem from how game data is stored. He said one invites a real recipe for security incidents by storing locally, alongside with the and the algorithm key/hash.

Two counter-notes are in order: One is that it is not easy to circumvent the games as illustrated in the step-by step blog post, as it would require those with advanced knowledge. Also, many curious who heard about the blog's content were unable to see the Angel report. The blog site went offline on Tuesday and at the time of this writing is still offline. In an update, The Verge on Tuesday reported Microsoft's response to the Windows 8 games account. A Microsoft spokesperson said it took a extra measures to help harden Windows 8 against hackers.

The company also said that any successful software distribution channel, not just Redmond's, faces the challenge of being targeted by people wishing to circumvent the system. "We're committed to ongoing protection of both customer and developer interests."

Earlier this year, an iOS hack was discovered that allowed users to sidestep paying for in-app virtual items. That issue was patched by Apple. The exploit let users purchase digital goods inside of iOS apps without paying for them but updated security measures in iOS took care of the problem.

Explore further: Microsoft pledges Windows developers generosity

Related Stories

Microsoft pledges Windows developers generosity

December 7, 2011

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. is stepping up its competition with Apple and plans to give developers who write software for Windows computers and devices a greater share of revenue sold through the company's upcoming Windows Store.

Windows 8 sales hit 40 million

November 27, 2012

Microsoft said Tuesday it sold 40 million licenses for its Windows 8 operating system in the first month after a launch which got a mixed reception.

Microsoft to open 'app store' in February

December 7, 2011

Microsoft began wooing developers for a February opening of its first "app store" for computers powered by the US technology giant's Windows software.

Nokia needs to make Windows phones hip

February 12, 2011

Nokia has scrapped its smartphone software for Microsoft's supercharged mobile operating system. Now a world enamored by Apple's iPhone and Android handsets needs reason to care.

Microsoft to add Kinect Fusion to Kinect for Windows SDK

November 6, 2012

(—Senior Program Manager for Microsoft's Kinect for Windows, Chris White recently announced via a blog post that Kinect Fusion will soon be incorporated into the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK). ...

Recommended for you

When words, structured data are placed on single canvas

October 22, 2017

If "ugh" is your favorite word to describe entering, amending and correcting data on the rows and columns on spreadsheets you are not alone. Coda, a new name in the document business, feels it's time for a change. This is ...

Enhancing solar power with diatoms

October 20, 2017

Diatoms, a kind of algae that reproduces prodigiously, have been called "the jewels of the sea" for their ability to manipulate light. Now, researchers hope to harness that property to boost solar technology.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.