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Microsoft bares study results on viruses, malware in newly-bought computers

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#1

Keshav Dhakad (left) announced the results of their recent computer security study which found 5,601 different kinds of malware inside computers installed with pirated software. Lawyer Allan Gepty (right), Deputy Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, reiterated the importance of genuine software for the consumers’ protection. MATIKAS SANTOS/INQUIRER.net

From the moment a person buys a computer, it could already be infected with a wide variety of viruses and malicious software (malware) that are capable of spying, stealing usernames and passwords, and even recording financial transactions.
Microsoft announced Monday the results of their computer security study conducted in Southeast Asia that found 5,601 different kinds of malware in laptops that have been pre-installed with pirated Windows operating systems (OS) and pirated DVDs of Windows installers.

The study, which sampled 216 branded laptops and 66 DVD installers, was conducted last December 2012 in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
More than half of the sampled computers or 68 per cent was found to contain malware while almost three fourths or 74 per cent of the DVD installers also contained malicious software, according to Keshav Dhakad, Regional Director for Intellectual Property of Microsoft Asia Pacific and Japan.

“Many people assume that buying a name-brand PC is all that’s required to guarantee a good and safe computing experience. They don’t think about the software sold with the computer, and whether or not it’s pirated,” Dhakad said in a statement during the press conference.
“If a consumer can’t verify that the computer they purchased was shipped with a pre-installed, genuine copy of Windows, their risk of exposure to viruses and spyware … increases exponentially,” he said.

Out of the 5,601 types of malware they found in the sampled computers, 3,703 were considered hostile while 1,898 were capable of “tweaking” the operating system so that it would remove essential security mechanisms such as the firewall and the automatic security updates.

Dhakad said that the malwares, which can be disguised as ordinary computer items like a picture or a legitimate program, are enough to “cause damage, steal information, and all other kinds of hostile activities,”

It “clearly reflects the fact that malware is intentional activity [that] takes advantage of pirated software,” he said.

Of the different kinds of malicious software they found, the most prevalent were trojans, which accounted for 3800 of all the malware found. A trojan is a type of program that appears legitimate but performs malicious and illicit activity.

Other malware found were worms (726), viruses (627), crack programs (127), hacker tools (109), rogue programs (95), password stealers (18) among others.

“Many consumers are completely unaware of the threats they face,” Dhakad said.
The most well-known of the malwares was a trojan program known as “Zeus,” which has several variations that can obtain usernames and passwords of online transactions and even
discreetely access the webcam to take photos.

Dhakad presented to the reporters a detailed and technical process of how a potential hacker can use “Zeus” to access a person’s webcam and record what it sees and how a person’s username could be obtained after logging in onto a financial website.

The pirated software was the root cause of all the different kinds of malware found on the computer. Dhakad cited a study by the Business Software Alliance, which found that the Philippines was among four countries in Southeast Asia in terms of piracy rate.

Vietnam had an 88 per cent piracy rate, Indonesia had 86 per cent, Thailand 72 per cent and Philippine 70 per cent, according to the cited study.

A separate study found that, 63 per cent of computers users in Asia Pacific admit they have acquired pirated software.

Dhakad maintained that even though genuine software are not completely immune to malicious software, it was the most basic and first step in ensuring a protected computing experience.

Users still have to be careful in opening unsolicited emails from unknown senders, downloading from suspicious websites, obtaining programs from peer to peers networks, etc., Dhakad said.

He also urged people to be wary of buying from unauthorized resellers because these are the pirated software are likely to have been installed inside the computers.

http://technology.inquirer.net/23415/microsoft-bares-study-results-on-viruses-malware-in-newly-bought-computers
 

Easy Rhino

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#2
what's sad is that kids here in the U.S. who actually have money choose to pirate Windows and then unwittingly have infected computers.
 
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#3
what's sad is that kids here in the U.S. who actually have money choose to pirate Windows and then unwittingly have infected computers.
I don't find it sad. I find it epically just. Let them have worms I say.
 

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#4
I don't find it sad. I find it epically just. Let them have worms I say.
yes but the problem becomes ours because those virii spread like mad and hog up all sorts of bandwidth.
 
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#5
One of the reasons I always tell people to buy a legitimate copy of windows before I build them a system. Its nice to see my gut feeling is also represented in the actual numbers.
 

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#6
One of the reasons I always tell people to buy a legitimate copy of windows before I build them a system. Its nice to see my gut feeling is also represented in the actual numbers.
it is scary how many of these infected copies are floating around the internet for any unwitting 15 year old to download and install. they then load up that same OS with pirated games which are also highly likely to be infected. then they spend hours browsing porn :roll: it's just one big giant bag of fail!
 
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#7
it is scary how many of these infected copies are floating around the internet for any unwitting 15 year old to download and install. they then load up that same OS with pirated games which are also highly likely to be infected. then they spend hours browsing porn :roll: it's just one big giant bag of fail!
Yup lol, but they do it to themselves.
Its better to learn their lesson when they pirate a copy of their windows at 15, than when they work with cofidential information for some company/government later in their life. The problem is: most of them dont know they're infected so this kind of thing goes on for ever.
 

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#8
This can also go with companys that image multiple machines from the same image time and time again. We had this happen about 5 months ago which caused desktop support to recall atleast 28 laptops and workstations! Talk about people being PISSED!
 
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#10
What's sad is that the first time I bought W7 64-bit, it was through an extremely reputable online retailer from which the hoster was somewhere in China. Long story short, I was out of $175 for which the online retailer had to recompensate me for the hoster's fake cd-key that was given to me. After that I found a good deal on a legitimate W7 OS and it turned out to be good finally.

Point of my story...fake/used software keys exist even in the retail world.
 
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#11
They must have been installing from a Dell OEM CD, talk about a boat load of viral-ware.
 
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#12
I only ever tried a "non-Microsoft sanctioned version" of windows to test a few programs in Virtual Machine.

It came with so much crap it was unbelievable. As soon as it logged in; several .bat scrips started shifting around files and asked to restart. When it restarted it had changed background, theme, icons, sounds and all. I figured somewhere someones day would be ruined if I let this thing have internet access and I didn't DARE hand over access to a usb stick, so I ended up burning a couple updated scanners to a DVD-R.

After the scanners finished I promptly deleted the guest OS. I also defragmented the drive where the VM virtual disk had been stored, if only to make me feel like it had actually been purged from the disk permanently.

Doesn't compare to the cases of pre-installed systems to that big a degree but it goes to show what's literally a few clicks away.
 
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#13
It's not about people going out and pirating windows and then getting whats coming to them. These are people grabbing whatever crap is on the shelves in their country in ignorance. I doubt it's common to find that kind of stuff in your typical torrented OS. People actually check those things.
 
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#14
they don't say what programs they use to find these viruses etc? if they now know that there is such viruses then put them into a anti virus program so we can clean these PC's with them.

There just saying that starting with a genuine copy will bring down the risk or % but doesn't mean it will stop it all together.

I would like to see some Windows updates now to combat this problem, otherwise this isn't going to fix anything.
 
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#15
All my machines have legit version of Windows installed, I know because I buy my OS discs froma local game and peripheral shop I am a regular of. All their Windows and software are originals and come in seal boxes. They sell original software, and ONLY original software. That is why, whenever I reinstall my OS for whatever reasons, all I need do is either activate online, or go thru the phone activation should the former have issue.
 
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#16
These are people grabbing whatever crap is on the shelves in their country in ignorance.
Lack of knowledge isn't ignorance. It is not ignorant to not knowing which stores are licensed. Have you ever been to a shopping mall in Thailand or China? Even the Apple store my Thai girlfriend visited looked like a gambling den.
 
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#17
the amount of computer repair shops i have seen using a random "gamer edition" of windows 7 they pulled from the internet. they have no idea what modifications have been made to the operating system. that's why i downloaded my windows iso files straight from Microsoft and modified them using the microsoft automated installation kit so that i had every version (x86 +64bit)on a single iso. it was the only way to guarantee the integrity of the operating system.
 
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#18
the amount of computer repair shops i have seen using a random "gamer edition" of windows 7 they pulled from the internet. they have no idea what modifications have been made to the operating system. that's why i downloaded my windows iso files straight from Microsoft and modified them using the microsoft automated installation kit so that i had every version (x86 +64bit)on a single iso. it was the only way to guarantee the integrity of the operating system.
Looking around eBay, it's also amazing to see how many older laptops are being sold with Win 7 for instance, when you know by the price of the laptop they certainly did not purchase a COA
 

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#20
Yup, and if you look up ignorant it goes into more detail:

ig·no·rant
adjective
\ˈig-n(ə-)rənt\
a : destitute of knowledge or education <an ignorant society>; also : lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified <parents ignorant of modern mathematics>
b : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence <ignorant errors>
I think he is describing selective ignorance not ignorance as a whole. To be ignorant does not mean you "ignore" intelligence and knowledge ,though you could, but the word does not explicit imply that.
 

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#21
The word "ignorant" is not derogatory although many take it in that manner.
It is simply a lack of knowledge of something, which we all are in many cases. It is impossible to know everything, thus we are ignorant in many things.

It does not matter if that ignorance is a product of the inability to gain the knowledge or caused by a general apathy of the topic at hand (selective).

That being said, when you are in the market for something, and you are spending your hard earned money on a product, it's best to try to reduce the amount of ignorance you have that pertains to your purchase.

Thus we have all the fine folks at TPU who help people make better decisions by educating them on what they are looking to buy, and hopefully not get ripped off. The TPU forums are a good way to reduce said ignorance concerning many, many things.
 

Frick

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#22
The word "ignorant" is not derogatory although many take it in that manner.
More like many use it in that manner.
 
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Video Card(s) Sapphire HD7950 Vapor X, 800/1400 @ 1.075V/1.45V
Storage 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD + 1 TB WD Green (Idle timer off) + 320 GB WD Blue
Display(s) Dell U2515H
Case Fractal Design Define R3
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Seasonic SS-380GB
Mouse CM Storm Recon
Keyboard CM Storm Quickfire Pro (MX Red)
#23
Guess they haven't heard of the word "ignoramus", which I believe is a derogatory word by design and origin.

(I'm really pushing this OT business, huh?)
 
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Processor Intel Core i5-4460
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Cooling Arctic Freezer i11
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Software Windows 10
#24
If an official Windows key costs as much there as here, the economy drives them towards pirated copies as well.
 

hat

Enthusiast
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System Name Starlifter :: Dragonfly
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Software Windows 10 Pro - Plex Server on Dragonfly
Benchmark Scores >9000
#25
I've used plenty of "special" versions of Windows, games, and all sorts of software before. Sounds like a bunch of fear mongering to me.

Protip: before you run anything you downloaded, run a virus scan on it. It's a good idea to do this for any software, even from trusted sources... but especially so for something you got from a not so legitimate source.