22 August 2017
Microsoft has just published the results of a study that was done to identify the penetration of pirated Microsoft software in PCs. This study was done by purchasing brand new retail PCs from the market in Nine Asian countries including, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand.
The research conducted in the months of June and July revealed a high level of piracy prevalent in retail stores, where a lot of buyers are not even aware of becoming a victim of piracy. Ideally, new PC is supposed to come with licensed software, however, this study proves otherwise.
Out of the 166 computers bought, researchers found 100% PCs bought in South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand came with pirated software pre-installed. This was closely followed by India at 91%, Indonesia with 90%, Taiwan 73 percent, Singapore 55 percent and the Philippines with 43 percent.
Over 83% of the total computers bought during this research came laden with pirated software. South Korea and India being the most developed markets in this region are clearly flouting the laws, claims Microsoft.
Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel and Regional Director of Digital Crimes Unit in Asia at the Microsoft in Singapore mentioned that in India 85% of these PCs came with malware and software that allowed backdoor entries to hackers and Bitcoin miners.
Schrade mentioned that pirated software is initially cheaper or even free at times however it leads to extra time and costs as it comes with embedded virus such as Trojan. She added, “When vendors sell pirated software containing malware in their personal computers, they are not only fueling the spread of malware in the region but are also putting their customers’ personal information and digital identity at the mercy of cybercriminals. Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their techniques to evade security measures and embedding their malware into pirated software is one of their tactics as it allows them to compromise large numbers of personal computers and access the amount of stolen credentials with ease.”