- More than 80% of Pirated Software-Loaded New PCs in Asia are infected with Malware, finds out a recent Microsoft study!
- Pirated software will likely cost users more than they bargained for while offering a fertile ground for cybercriminals to exploit compromised devices!
A Microsoft sweep of PC test purchasing revealed that more than four in five (83%) brand new PCs in targeted countries in Asia are loaded with pirated software. The PC samples selected were purchased from retailers that offered PCs at much lower cost and free software bundles to lure customers. In many cases, these retailers also sold pirated software at their store.
Aimed to educate consumers and owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)in the region, Microsoft’s AsiaPC Test Purchase Sweep provides insights on the extensive prevalence of new PCs loaded with pirated software and the risks that they can pose to individuals and businesses.
“Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their techniques to evade security measures, and embedding their malware into pirated software is one of their tactics as it allows them to compromise large numbers of PCs and access vast amount of stolen credentials with ease,” said Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel & Regional Director, Digital Crimes Unit, Microsoft Asia.
“When vendors sell pirated software containing malware in their PCs, they are not only fueling the spread of malware in the region but are also putting their customers’ personal information and digital identity at the mercy of cyber-criminals,” added Mary Jo.
The Risks of Using Pirated Software
The sweep found that one of the most common practices for vendors installing pirated software on new PCs is to turn off the security features, such as anti-virus software and Windows Defender as doing this allows them to run the hack-tools needed to activate the pirated software. However, this leaves PCs vulnerable to malware and other cyber threats, and the buyers of these PCs may not even realize that their PC is not being protected.