Microsoft: Pirated Win 7 Causes Malware Outbreak

Yesterday Microsoft's Jeff Williams, the principal group program manager for the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, said that there is a direct correlation between the current malware infection rate and software piracy. To be more specific, he said that countries with high piracy rates are more likely to be infected by malicious code because they're reluctant to apply updates.

His theory is based on Windows and the security updates that consumers are neglecting to install through Windows Update. Microsoft's latest biannual security intelligence report, found here, claims that China's piracy rate is more than four times than that of the United States. France and Brazil also have extremely high piracy rates, and each country--including China--use Windows Update significantly less than consumers in the U.S.

Has Microsoft kicked itself in the rear with Windows Genuine Advantage? Although the company's pirate sniffing software has been successful in tagging non-legit copies of Windows, WGA is also turning consumers away from the updating process, especially those who bought a copy of Windows and feel justified in installing the OS on multiple computers. While there are cracks available to bypass WGA, there are many users who aren't quite so PC-savvy, leaving them wide open for attack.

As reported by Computerworld, there are also legit users who won't bow down to Microsoft's anti-piracy efforts: users in China, the United States, and other countries have protested against the software since its was originally embedded into the OS. With that said, perhaps Microsoft made the malware infection rate worse by locking out the non-legitimate copies of Windows. After all, if 41-percent of the world is running pirated Windows, maybe Microsoft should reconsider WGA?

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  • strangestranger
    No, maybe they should find them and ram a copy of windows up their arse. If they want it that much, let them have it.
  • Anonymous
    Microsoft and any software maker's interest is making money. If they create a software model that protects their bottom line than they have a right to do so.

    And rightfully, anyone not adhering to that model, should be limited in what they can do. Microsoft is not in the business of making malware. If someone decides to get a zero dollar version of any O/S and gets it from a site that may contain questionable content, how is Microsoft to blame.

    Maybe zero dollar users should contact Microsoft and say where they get their free copy of Windows and Microsoft will do some testing to verify that there is no malware, right? ..... See how stupid this all sounds!
  • Anonymous
    After all, if 41-percent of the world is running pirated Windows, maybe Microsoft should reconsider WGA? - Wrong, maybe they should consider their pricing. Imagine if correctly priced, they can make 41% more sales !
    If a computer is worth $2000, maybe people will not mind spending $150 on an OS (Say like XP), but that's not the case in China or other developing countries. The cost of the PC is drastically low, sometimes in the $300-400 range. It's not likely that those users will buy $100 worth software as MS sells it.