Is the fact that pirated application software may contain malware still a news story? According to Microsoft, it is, with sales at Melbourne software markets rife with digital nasties.
Research released by Microsoft — and let’s face it, it’s not as though Microsoft doesn’t have a rather large stake in all of this — reportedly shows that from illegitimate copies of Office and Windows purchased at Melbourne markets, there were a range of malware and installation issues.
Five of the six copies of Office purchased came bundled with malware, whereas half of the dozen copies of Windows simply wouldn’t run. Of those that were able to install, two of them also contained malware, and all copies had disabled Windows Update and modified the Windows Firewall rules. Which makes sense from a pirate’s point of view, because Windows Update will also perform a validation check, but does mean that any and all other security updates would be MIA on any system with the dodgy operating system installed.
For a reasonable proportion of the Lifehacker audience, I doubt that this would particularly be news, although it’s worrying within the spectre of stores selling counterfeit rather than pirated copies. If you’re knowingly buying hooky software you’re taking your own risks, but if you think you’re getting the real deal it’s going to be especially painful.
Play It Safe [Microsoft]