Spyware Sucks
“There is no magic fairy dust protecting Macs" – Dai Zovi, author of “The Mac Hacker’s Handbook"

MS report on the risk of counterfeit software finally released

October 28th 2006 in Uncategorized

Back on September 19 I mentioned that Alex of the Windows Genuine Advantage blog had been way too quiet, but that he had promised a report on the dangers of using non-genuine (counterfeit or cracked) software.

Well, Alex has blogged to let us know that the report has finally been released.  It makes interesting reading.

This particular comment caught my eye:

"the findings of the research suggest that those who are inclined to sell counterfeit software may also be increasingly tampering with or adding unwanted software to their product that provide more opportunities for them to make money. One possible explanation for this observation might be that with increased awareness of security issues, more people than ever before are installing anti-spyware and antivirus products, and turning on firewalls making it harder for spyware and other malware to be effective. The IDC study has compelling evidence that shows the planting of malicious software when the operating system is first installed or the use of a recognizable and trusted software title as a Trojan is becoming increasingly prevalent"

The full report is available for viewing here (PDF format):
http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/6/9/769E42E0-68C4-4826-838B-0F801DB2EFC2/IDC%20White%20Paper%20on%20Risks%20of%20Pirated%20Software.pdf

Summary here:
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/update/wga_idc/default.mspx

This ties in with another pet peeve of mine, downloading system files from third party sites.  We had an issue for a while with a few people offering IE7 beta uninstaller files for download to people who had accidentally, or knowingly, deleted their copies, leaving them unable to remove the IE7 beta.  There is one site in particular that was updated only days ago to add RC1 to their "uninstall build".  I have to ask myself why they are doing this.  The installer for IE7 RC1 and IE7 Gold, if the uninstall files are missing, will adapt.  We don't need to go out and find replacement IE7 beta uninstall directories anymore.  Can you really trust a download from somebody who has missed that essential little point?


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