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Companies have to Spend $500 Bn to Deal with Malware in Pirated Software - Study

Betanews.com reported on 19th March, 2014 quoting a recent study stating that companies across the globe are estimated to spend USD 500 billion in 2014 to deal problems caused by malware in pirated software and consumers are expected to spend $25 billion while spending 1.2 billion hours on fixing security threats.

Digital Crimes Unit of Microsoft released the study as a part of its annual 'Play it Safe' campaign namely "The Link Between Pirated Software and Cybersecurity Breaches" which was conducted by IDC and NUS (National University of Singapore).

Forensic analysis carried out on 203 new PCs with pirated software and found that 61% were pre-infected with malwares like computer Trojans, computer worms, computer viruses, rootkits, hacking tools and adware. These systems with 100 separate threats were purchased via resellers and PC shops at 11 markets.

The study revealed that new computers purchased from countries like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, Ukraine and the United States were all tainted with malware.

Firstpost.com published news on 19th March, 2014 quoting a comment on these disturbing findings by NSU Professor Biplab Sikdar as "It is very heartrending that brand new computers are coming pre-infected with treacherous malware due to pirated software making Internauts and businesses readily susceptible to security breaches."

Computerweekly.com reported on 19th March, 2014 quoting Sikdar as saying "Forensic tests of the University clearly show how criminals are increasingly exploiting the insecure supply chain of piracy to distribute malware and hijack security of PC seriously."

The study also revealed that 60% of survey participants said that their biggest fear of infected software is loss of data, files or private information and followed by unauthorized online transactions (51%), compromising of e-mail, social networking and bank accounts (50%).

Additionally, as accords to findings of sample computers, 49% had real-time protections turned off, 43% had Windows update turned off, 38% did not have the IE (Internet Explorer) default webpage and 34% had Windows defender turned-off.

The report concludes with a suggestion for individuals, small business enterprises or even to government institutions that they must purchase new computers only from reputed sources to ensure legitimacy of software they obtain.

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