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Pirated Software Correspond to High Malware Infection Rate

In a warning issued by Microsoft, it has been revealed that users in countries having a high software piracy rate are comparatively more exposed to the threat of infected PCs than the users in countries where such illegal applications are conducted on a low scale.

The Principal Group Program Manager at Microsoft malware Protection Center, Jeff Williams claims a direct link between the rates of malware infection and using illegally copied (pirated) software, as reported by theinquirer.net on November 3, 2009.

Williams contends that software 'pirates' are getting crucified with malware as these software pirates don't get updates, as they fear that their dodgy setups might be exposed by Windows Update.

He further added that the rate of software piracy is four times more as compared to the US. China's use of Windows Update is notably below than that of the US; same is the case with Brazil and France.

The company's own data, however, doesn't always hold William's argument that plagiarism and reluctance to use Windows Update result in higher number of infected systems. For example, as clear by the number of PCs sanitized for every 1,000 Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) execution, China exhibited a malware infection rate of merely 6.7, notably lower than the 8.2 per thousand in the US, and the worldwide average of 8.7. In the first half of 2009, even the France's 7.9 infection rate was below the global average.

It is interesting to note that among the examples of countries given by Microsoft, whose users show reluctance to use Windows Update due to mounting piracy rates, Brazil alone matches William's argument. Infection rate in Brazil stood at 25.4, around thrice the world's average.

Besides this, plagued by malware, countries such as Montenegro and Serbia had the maximum infection rate in the entire world, with 92.7 systems of every 1,000, around 10%. Further, Turkey stood at second position (at 32.3), Spain ranked fourth (at 21.6), while at the fifth position, stood South Korea (at 21.3).

The Business Software Alliance (BSA), an industry-backed anti-piracy organization, places piracy rate in Serbia (i.e. the percentage of non-licensed in-use software) at 74% for the last year. Turkey with an estimated piracy rate of 64%, Brazil (58%), Spain (42%) and Korea (43%) follow Serbia.

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

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