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Pirated Software Raises Security Incidences

BSA, during the 3rd week of May 2010, stated in its yearly report on software piracy that while counterfeit software is a licensing issue, it is an issue of security as well, as per the news published by darkREADING on May 14, 2010.

In its Global Piracy Study 2010, BSA estimates that during 2009, unlicensed software worth $51.4 Billion was sold. This, therefore, indicates that with respect to each genuine software program worth $100 that was sold, there was a sale of additional software worth $75 that was unlicensed.

Says BSA, it also found that there was a loss of over $1,000 in recovering from an incident of computer security problem arising due to counterfeit software. This cost was often more than that of genuine applications.

Moreover, the global rate piracy rate rose from 41% (in 2008) to 43% (in 2009), which is largely attributed to the explosive growth in software and computer markets across rapidly expanding, higher piracy markets like China, India and Brazil.

Further, according to the report, the growing piracy rate is not only responsible for the rising expense in the software sector, but also for the dissemination of malicious programs. For instance, citing an earlier research by IDC in 2006, the report states that the previous research had found 1 in 4 websites, which presented counterfeit activation codes or pirated software, were trying to plant malicious PC programs such as keyloggers and Trojan viruses on experimental PCs.

Still more conspicuous, 59% of the key generators or pirated software pulled down from P2P (peer-to-peer) websites carried an undesirable/malicious program. This program attempted at seizing users' keystrokes or sending them onto fake websites where they would be asked for their personal information, which, in turn, facilitates identity theft.

Furthermore, software piracy, in addition to hurting software firms as well as the IT industry, upsets the global, regional and local economies via the reduction of distribution and service companies.

Finally, according to the report, despite being unlicensed, counterfeit software isn't essentially free. For, to obtain it, plenty of effort is required as well as greater support unlike genuine software is required by it, as it doesn't have associated patches and updates, while may even carry malware.

Related article: Pirated Software Can Have Harmful Consequences on Company Networks

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