Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Software pirates tap into technology

Filed under
Misc

Criminal gangs are increasing taking advantage of the internet to peddle counterfeit software, say experts.

According to an investigator for the trade body, the Business Software Alliance (BSA), criminals hawking counterfeit or cracked software are tapping into the e-commerce potential of the net.

The internet helps the software pirates reach a much bigger pool of customers; it boosts profits because the code can just be downloaded instead of burned on to a CD; it is also cheap and easy to set up so-called warez sites.

Moreover, the chances of being caught are pretty low. It all adds up to a serious problem for those tackling the selling and pirating of software online.

It is an issue acknowledged by the BSA investigator, known only as Mr X. He has to keep his identity secret so he can do his job effectively and avoid the real threats of harm he regularly receives.

"It's getting harder," he says. "Organised crime has definitely picked up on this trend."

Faking it

There is no doubt that many of those peddling pirated programs are from organised crime gangs, said Mr X.

Recent raids on pirates have turned up bundles of cash, fake driving licences and passports as well as counterfeit software.

And it is not just the experienced criminals that are using web technology to distribute the pirated warez.

Some pirates are using peer-to-peer software such as BitTorrent to share the load of downloading what can be very big programs.

They use sophisticated techniques such as Distributed Hash Tables to make it more difficult to track down where the files are held.

Others have turned to older systems such as Usenet and label files using the NZB format to make sure that downloaders pick up all the different parts of the program they are after.

Software and entertainment products were the second most counterfeited category of goods according to a report released in late July by Canada's Gieschen Consultancy.

For the first time, the names of Microsoft and Adobe joined those of Prada, Adidas and Nike in the names of the top 10 most counterfeited brands.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Five reasons to switch from Windows to Linux

Linux has been in the ascendancy ever since the open source operating system was released, and has been improved and refined over time so that a typical distribution is now a polished and complete package comprising virtually everything the user needs, whether for a server or personal system. Much of the web runs on Linux, and a great many smartphones, and numerous other systems, from the Raspberry Pi to the most powerful supercomputers. So is it time to switch from Windows to Linux? Here are five reasons why. Read more

today's leftovers

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Security Leftovers

  • Chrome vulnerability lets attackers steal movies from streaming services
    A significant security vulnerability in Google technology that is supposed to protect videos streamed via Google Chrome has been discovered by researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Cyber Security Research Center (CSRC) in collaboration with a security researcher from Telekom Innovation Laboratories in Berlin, Germany.
  • Large botnet of CCTV devices knock the snot out of jewelry website
    Researchers have encountered a denial-of-service botnet that's made up of more than 25,000 Internet-connected closed circuit TV devices. The researchers with Security firm Sucuri came across the malicious network while defending a small brick-and-mortar jewelry shop against a distributed denial-of-service attack. The unnamed site was choking on an assault that delivered almost 35,000 HTTP requests per second, making it unreachable to legitimate users. When Sucuri used a network addressing and routing system known as Anycast to neutralize the attack, the assailants increased the number of HTTP requests to 50,000 per second.
  • Study finds Password Misuse in Hospitals a Steaming Hot Mess
    Hospitals are pretty hygienic places – except when it comes to passwords, it seems. That’s the conclusion of a recent study by researchers at Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania and USC, which found that efforts to circumvent password protections are “endemic” in healthcare environments and mostly go unnoticed by hospital IT staff. The report describes what can only be described as wholesale abandonment of security best practices at hospitals and other clinical environments – with the bad behavior being driven by necessity rather than malice.
  • Why are hackers increasingly targeting the healthcare industry?
    Cyber-attacks in the healthcare environment are on the rise, with recent research suggesting that critical healthcare systems could be vulnerable to attack. In general, the healthcare industry is proving lucrative for cybercriminals because medical data can be used in multiple ways, for example fraud or identify theft. This personal data often contains information regarding a patient’s medical history, which could be used in targeted spear-phishing attacks.
  • Making the internet more secure
  • Beyond Monocultures
  • Dodging Raindrops Escaping the Public Cloud