Microsoft: Pirated Win 7 Causes Malware Outbreak

Yesterday Microsoft's Jeff Williams, the principal group program manager for the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, said that there is a direct correlation between the current malware infection rate and software piracy. To be more specific, he said that countries with high piracy rates are more likely to be infected by malicious code because they're reluctant to apply updates.

His theory is based on Windows and the security updates that consumers are neglecting to install through Windows Update. Microsoft's latest biannual security intelligence report, found here, claims that China's piracy rate is more than four times than that of the United States. France and Brazil also have extremely high piracy rates, and each country--including China--use Windows Update significantly less than consumers in the U.S.

Has Microsoft kicked itself in the rear with Windows Genuine Advantage? Although the company's pirate sniffing software has been successful in tagging non-legit copies of Windows, WGA is also turning consumers away from the updating process, especially those who bought a copy of Windows and feel justified in installing the OS on multiple computers. While there are cracks available to bypass WGA, there are many users who aren't quite so PC-savvy, leaving them wide open for attack.

As reported by Computerworld, there are also legit users who won't bow down to Microsoft's anti-piracy efforts: users in China, the United States, and other countries have protested against the software since its was originally embedded into the OS. With that said, perhaps Microsoft made the malware infection rate worse by locking out the non-legitimate copies of Windows. After all, if 41-percent of the world is running pirated Windows, maybe Microsoft should reconsider WGA?

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  • stridervm
    Generally I'd agree. But there's also pirated Windows downloads out there that also has keyloggers, trojans and viruses, both intentional and unintentionally done by its source.

    But I think user stupidity is still the primary culprit
    16
  • acecombat
    "After all, if 41-percent of the world is running pirated Windows, maybe Microsoft should reconsider WGA?"

    They should...I purchased Vista and when I changed some hardware after a HDD crash and reinstalled, my old activation code no longer worked, I then had to call them and waste ~20 mins explaining what I changed to get it activated. I then vowed to never purchase an OS that requires such an activation system again.
    12
  • dtm4trix
    acecombat"After all, if 41-percent of the world is running pirated Windows, maybe Microsoft should reconsider WGA?"They should...I purchased Vista and when I changed some hardware after a HDD crash and reinstalled, my old activation code no longer worked, I then had to call them and waste ~20 mins explaining what I changed to get it activated. I then vowed to never purchase an OS that requires such an activation system again.



    Microsoft should be a little more generous with us who pony over the money to buy legit copies of their software. I build or upgrade my computer every 6 months plus I like to do a fresh install of my OS every year or so as to keep it fresh and snappy. Its a pain in the A$$ to call MS everytime I do a fresh install.
    10
  • Other Comments
  • stridervm
    Generally I'd agree. But there's also pirated Windows downloads out there that also has keyloggers, trojans and viruses, both intentional and unintentionally done by its source.

    But I think user stupidity is still the primary culprit
    16
  • acecombat
    "After all, if 41-percent of the world is running pirated Windows, maybe Microsoft should reconsider WGA?"

    They should...I purchased Vista and when I changed some hardware after a HDD crash and reinstalled, my old activation code no longer worked, I then had to call them and waste ~20 mins explaining what I changed to get it activated. I then vowed to never purchase an OS that requires such an activation system again.
    12
  • SAL-e
    Propaganda/distraction from MS. Outbreak of malware means that malware is spreading quickly. The problem is that all legal copies are getting infected also. Just this month MS has released 2 set of patches for IE out bound. Why? Because they thought they fix the problem, but they found out that they missed the target. They rushed new patch that caused some problems. Just today they released fix for that. If their OS had better design (not making windows dependent on IE) may be we was going not to worry about malware so much.
    5