There was no doubt that hackers would develop cracks to get Windows Vista illegally, but as it turns out a crack isn’t really needed. That’s because a new brute force method has been found that will continuously try product keys until Vista accepts one of them. At a rate of 20,000 keys per hour (480,000 per day) it might take a few hours or days to find one that works. Then, you’ll also have to see if you can activate the key, and if it doesn’t work you gotta keep trying. Yes, this can definitely become a daunting task.
What really worries me about this process is that it might take a valid key away from someone else who has actually purchased Windows Vista. That means when the user who legally bought Vista tries to activate the operating system it will tell them that it has already been activated on another PC. Then they will have to call Microsoft in order to resolve the issue.
The key generator download can apparently be found in this forum which does require you to register, but I didn’t want to register at the site to see for myself. A summary of how it works is on this page, but there are no download links available there.
I would expect to see a Windows Update become available shortly that limits the number of times a user can change their product key in a day’s time. Most people would never change their product key anyways, so not enforcing a daily limitation is something that Microsoft is probably kicking themselves for right now.