Half of Pirated Vista is Malware

According to security vendor DriveSentry, about half of downloads claiming to be free versions of Microsoft Windows Vista are in fact malicious Trojan horses. With Vista's consumer launch just days away, discussion boards and peer-to-peer networks are full of offers of "cracked" versions of Windows Vista. The downloaded programs claim to skip Vista's activation process but are in fact malicious key-logging software and spyware. This isn't anything new though, the same deal occurred with Windows XP. Pirated versions of Vista have been in circulation for several months now, and one called "Windows Vista All Versions Activation 21.11.06" has already been identified as a Trojan. It's an effective technique, said John Lynch, vice president of sales and marketing for DriveSentry. "Someone that's stealing the software to begin with is not going to raise a fuss if the software turns out to be malicious."

News source: InfoWorld

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37 Comments

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why would trying to "steal" vista be dumb? you don't' get nagged and it's free. quite smart

but if you are dumb enough to download 1mb files then yes, you deserve what you get

I don't want to promote piracy but if you're going to try out a questionable application, always use an isolated environment with no network connection.

I'd suggest VMware player or VMware server which are both free. You could also install free zonealarm in the virtual machine to watch for and block outgoing connection attempts.

M$ Virtual PC is another free alternative but knowing M$ I wouldn't be surprised if it could detect and possibly report non-genuine guest operating systems.

Its so amusing to see how few people on Neowin know how to spell Microsoft. Even a 6 year old can do it.

Ok, all together now:

M-I-C-R-O-S-O-F-T

It's not as hard as you might think.

This isn't anything new or amazing, it's the same with XP or any other software you've looked for on your crappy P2P application. Or better yet, google.

You guys are being very melodramatic. There ARE infected versions that look authentic.

There's currently a Windows XP SP1 Pro ISO out there on thepiratebay that looks authentic and like the real thing. There's a trojan in the I386 folder that becomes part of your installation. Removing it from your computer means removing XP. It's one of the most genius things I've ever seen.

you have to be kidding me right? i think a more apropriate title would be

Half of pirated software available for download is malware

it also depends on your sources. no one downloads software via websites and forums anymore. everything is torrents or newsgroup now.... everything.... and 99% of the stuff on newsgroups is real and working (in some form).

in fact. saying half of all pirated software is malware is being generous. its probably much higher, especially if your source is a friggin P2P app. i bet a search for Vista on a P2P network would net you roughly 123897612391624308 Vista Ultimate.iso.exe = >1MB files.

silly...

/scene fades to flashback

"dude that is the best warez site evah!"

indeed.. all this activation crap just makes it a pain for the real paid users.. kind of like PC games that require you to insert the disc to play...

if the hash is correct, there is no fear. With a little common sense, you'll be fine.

what a bunch of crap.

i bet Microsoft is behind the stories that downloaded versions of Windows have viruses and trojans.

as MANY people have found out, the downloaded versions of a lot of Microsoft software are usually less hassle than the "legit" versions.

stories like these are made to try to scare some people away from downloading Windows. anyone that knows what they are doing will have no trouble downloading Vista, and may even find the downloaded copy BETTER than the store purchased version that requires activation.

I don't think the story is claiming that these downloads are full versions of windows loaded with trojans and viruses, I think it's stating that they are very small downloads that are just.. for example "install windows vista.exe" and are aimed at people that think they're getting the real deal but don't really have any idea what they're doing...