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Vista ‘Copies’ Download Trojan

As per a warning by a security expert, people should avoid downloading pirated copies of Microsoft's Windows Vista for they are illegal versions of the software.

Says John Safa, most downloads that claim to be copies of Vista operating system are malware. Safa, security expert and chief architect at firewall security company DriveSentry spoke for his company press release in a publication of Business Wire on January 24, 2007.

DriveSentry said that it knew about many programs that provide an authentication key for Microsoft's new OS. By cracking the key it was possible to obtain a pirated copy of Vista; but often these cracks carry Trojans, which on entering the system encrypt or corrupt the data.

The lacuna in these downloads is that they do not run Vista's activation process that Microsoft has created to obstruct execution of illegal copies.

While the software giant will launch the new operating system in the coming week, discussion boards, chat forums and peer-to-peer networks have already started posting messages that canvass free 'unlocked' copies of the software.

Safa said malware writers were making false promises of free software to cheat users in downloading the Trojan. Once that is done the Trojan encrypts victim's data and displays a ransom note asking him/her to pay up in order to avoid any data erosion.

Among such cracks one - Windows Vista All Versions Activation 21.11.06 - was recently found to be a Trojan carrier, and there might be more coming in. Safa added hackers were bundling malicious programs with original cracks and sending them over the Web. So when a person downloads and runs any of these infected cracks, it will open the malicious program that can cause unmanageable damage to the computer and its data.

The company warned consumers that there could be several offers for free or reduced-price versions of Vista in the future. These versions could be having alleged cracks attempting to spam their inboxes.

DriveSentry tested several crack programs from file-sharing sites to find that nearly 50% tried to install malware onto systems. Safa advises users to initiate data level security and isolate malware from their PCs.

Related article: Vista Can Run for 365 Days Without Activation

» SPAMfighter News - 1/30/2007

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