A Nokia engineer who works with Windows 8 has stumbled across a trick which allows users to avoid paying for in-game purchases — and he's published it online.

It's not the easiest process in the world, but it does seem to work. Justin Angel, the engineer in question, explains the process using the Soulcraft Windows 8 game as a case study, reports the Verge. As he points out:

"[S]toring encrypted data locally, alongside with the algorithm and the algorithm key/hash is a recipe for security incidents."

True! In fact, his post goes on to explain a bunch of possible applications for the hack, including: cracking trial apps to paid versions for free, removing in-app ads from games by editing XAML files, and reducing the cost of in-game items by editing game data files.

In other words, if developers can charge for something in a Windows 8 game, Angel seems to be able to find a way round it. Like we say, these aren't easy hacks, but they do seem to work.

Windows has long had problems with game piracy on PCs, and now it looks like it might be the same story for its latest OS. There's currently no word on what Microsoft is doing about the problem. [Justin Angel via Verge]