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  #1  
Old February 27th, 2008, 02:56 AM
Ben321 Ben321 is offline
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The truth about pirated software and malware (moved from Cyber Safety Forum)

I've heard that pirated software often has malware. However, just to see if this was true, I downloaded several different pieces of full version software (don't worry, I already have bought legal copies of the software, or else I deleted them afterwards). These all had either cracks or keygens in order to get around the copy protection. And they all were torrents except for one. Only one of them had ANY malware. It was the keygen that I downloaded without a torrent. The torrents seem to actually be safer than regular downloads (despite the fact that another post on here said otherwise). In fact, I can only see one reason the scary (and WAY overblown) statistics would be stated. It is a scare tactic to try to keep people from using torrents for pirated software.
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  #2  
Old February 27th, 2008, 03:27 AM
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AnnMarie AnnMarie is offline
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Quote:
In fact, I can only see one reason the scary (and WAY overblown) statistics would be stated. It is a scare tactic to try to keep people from using torrents for pirated software.
In actual fact Ben, those of us who remove malware for a living believe that those statistics are understated and the study referenced in the Cyber Safety Forum sticky only scraped the tip of the iceberg.

Quote:
However, just to see if this was true, I downloaded several different pieces of full version software
Downloading several torrents does not constitute a valid or reliable study so your argument is not meaningful.
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  #3  
Old February 27th, 2008, 03:56 AM
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smurfy smurfy is offline
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Yep, and I crossed the street several times today and didn't get run over once, therefore statistics about car vs pedestrian accidents must be blown out of proportion too.

The amount of times you see comments like "I downloaded this file, double-clicked it but nothing happened" should prove that it's not made up.

I have often had to download files which have proved to be pirated software (although not via torrents) on an unprotected PC dedicated to this task.
This probably answers some people who have asked me how I can identify pirate behaviour/files in posts here so quickly.

From my experience over the last 8+ years, the incidence of malware, particularly trojans, being resident not only in the cracks and keygens but the actual software executables has increased exponentially with the advent of P2P filesharing and Bit Torrents. I haven't kept stats on the proportion of infected downloads but currently I would conservatively estimate about 1 in 3 files poses a risk. Back in the days of FTP, I would have only seen 1 in 10 files posing a risk.
Even music and media files are not immune.
Along with maliciously coded websites exploiting browser insecurities, I would say this is now one of the biggest distribution channels for malware.

I can say for sure that a PC that is never used for illegal filesharing is less likely by far to become infected than one that is used for piracy.
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  #4  
Old February 27th, 2008, 04:52 AM
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zipulrich zipulrich is offline
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Then there's the issue of theft. A lot of people, from programmers to salesmen, janitors to artists, rely on the sales of software (music/films) to feed their children, pay rent, buy shoes, - the normal stuff that people get jobs for. I don't understand the justification for stealing. And to top it off, what you steal might - just might - hose your computer? What a brainiac idea.
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  #5  
Old February 27th, 2008, 10:57 AM
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oracle128 oracle128 is offline
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Really, it wouldn't matter if it was as little as 1 in 10 or smaller infected per download. It only takes one to infect the whole machine, and the thing about pirates is, they don't stop at just one or two warez downloads. So you downloaded a handful of warez and only one had an infection...well yeah, that's pretty much what we've been saying all along. It's basically playing Russian Roulette with your PC security, which is funny, because it has about the same odds, and yet you don't see people rushing to play that. The consequences of malware may not be death, but how about loss of irreplaceable data, money stolen from banking accounts, identity theft, a lifetime of bad credit ratings...?
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  #6  
Old February 27th, 2008, 04:14 PM
jmtjet jmtjet is offline
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Ok Ben, all you have to do is install a Linux distro and you can download all the software you want for free-legally. You can use Bit torrents till your hearts content and never worry about malware of any kind. The malware epidemic that is affecting Windows computers is driving people to Macs and Linux systems. If a Windows user totals up the time they send each month removing malware it would amazing them. Microsoft will loose a good portion of their business if they don't come up with a remedy for this. (off of soapbox now)
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  #7  
Old February 27th, 2008, 05:42 PM
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Miz Miz is offline
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Just be aware of how to protect yourself from or remove the Linux worms Adm, Adore, Cheese, Devnull, Kork, Lapper, Linux/Lion (also known as Ramen), Mighty, Slapper and SSH Bruteforcer as well as the Linux viruses, Alaeada, Bad Bunny, Binom, Bliss, Brundle, Diesel, Kagob, MetaPHOR (also known as Simile), OSF.8759, RST, Staog, Vit, Winter, Winux (also known as Lindose and PEElf), ZipWorm and Bukowski.

Granted, there are not nearly as many malware writers targeting Linux but that doesn't mean Linux is immune to infection.
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  #8  
Old February 27th, 2008, 06:27 PM
jmtjet jmtjet is offline
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Quote:
Granted, there are not nearly as many malware writers targeting Linux but that doesn't mean Linux is immune to infection.
ClamAV and Firestarter firewall. ClamAV runs silently in the background,updates without prompts and it keeps me from passing on windows virii through my email program. Most Linux users run their desktop/laptops as a user. Malware would need root privileges to install so that would make it unlike. Since there's not that many people using Linux or Macs malware writing criminals don't both with it. The virii that has been written has targeted Linux server software and not desktops. There are many people who use Linux without any AV or Firewall and never seem to have any problems.
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  #9  
Old February 27th, 2008, 09:20 PM
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Miz Miz is offline
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jmtjet - When encouraging Ben to get Linux and start downloading, you said, "...never worry about malware of any kind...."

My point is that statement is misleading.

Your statement, "start downloading all the software you want for free-legally....." implies that if you are using Linux when downloading software, they are all going to be legal downloads. Surely that's not what you meant.
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  #10  
Old February 27th, 2008, 10:53 PM
jmtjet jmtjet is offline
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Linux software is "open source" which means it's legal and free and does not contain malware. For most windows software there is a Linux equivalent. If a person wants to download windows software on a Linux system they would need a windows emulator program like Wine. Even then, Wine does not run all windows programs. I, in no way, an encouraging Ben321 to download illegal or pirated software with Linux or any other operating system. I was merely pointing out that Linux is a more secure operating system than Windows.
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  #11  
Old February 27th, 2008, 10:59 PM
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oracle128 oracle128 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmtjet View Post
ClamAV and Firestarter firewall. ClamAV runs silently in the background,updates without prompts and it keeps me from passing on windows virii through my email program.
Would that be the same ClamAV that's available on Windows?
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  #12  
Old February 27th, 2008, 11:41 PM
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rockboy rockboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oracle128 View Post
Would that bet he same ClamAV that's available on Windows?
Probably. I use ClamAV on my apps flash drive and doubt there are two with the same name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmtjet View Post
Linux software is "open source" which means it's legal and free and does not contain malware. For most windows software there is a Linux equivalent.
...
I was merely pointing out that Linux is a more secure operating system than Windows.
I agree that Linux is more secure for the reasons stated in the posts above but it's not immune. As for the "open source" software that is available for Linux, in most cases the same open source software is available for Windows. The issue is warez that have the added factor of malware and you can bet those Windows users that are getting infected are not getting infected from downloading open source software. Apples and oranges.
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  #13  
Old February 28th, 2008, 02:46 AM
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oracle128 oracle128 is offline
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Originally Posted by rockboy View Post
Probably. I use ClamAV on my apps flash drive and doubt there are two with the same name.
I know, I was pointing out how ClamAV on Linux was supposed to be a magic fix for Linux malware, yet the exact same program available on Windows was meant to be a time-waster and degrading to Microsoft's business. And that's assuming you believe that it's not possible to run Windows without being inundated with malware (I know at least 3 people that are proof of that being false, myself, Smurfy and Mr Bean).
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmtjet
The malware epidemic that is affecting Windows computers is driving people to Macs and Linux systems. If a Windows user totals up the time they send each month removing malware it would amazing them. Microsoft will loose a good portion of their business if they don't come up with a remedy for this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miz
Granted, there are not nearly as many malware writers targeting Linux but that doesn't mean Linux is immune to infection.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmtjet
ClamAV and Firestarter firewall. ClamAV runs silently in the background,updates without prompts and it keeps me from passing on windows virii through my email program.

Last edited by oracle128; February 28th, 2008 at 03:00 AM.
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  #14  
Old February 28th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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Snurfen Snurfen is offline
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I have a reasonable setup and sensible approach on both my Windows and Linux systems. Rarely have anything that isn't dealt with automatically, cos I use my noddle on what sites I visit and what I am prepared to download.

Look in the Cyber Safety posts and see the amount of pure tat people are willing to download and install then complain their pc is running like a pig.

It's the same reason they have that ridiculous warning in rear view mirrors in some countries - nowt as stupid as the general public. (Except my users, they're the tops).
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