Software Piracy Costs Billions in Time, Money for Consumers and Businesses

Software Piracy Costs Billions in Time, Money for Consumers and Businesses 
New Microsoft-commissioned study also highlights dangers for those that use 
counterfeit software. 
MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Although some computer users may 
actively seek pirated software in hopes of saving money, they are taking a big 
risk because the chances of infection by unexpected malware are one in three 
for consumers and three in ten for businesses, according to a new study 
commissioned by Microsoft Corp. and conducted by IDC. As a result of these 
infections, the research shows that consumers will spend 1.5 billion hours and 
$22 billion identifying, repairing and recovering from the impact of malware, 
while global enterprises will spend $114 billion to deal with the impact of a 
malware-induced cyber-attack. 
The global study analyzed 270 websites and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, 108 
software downloads, and 155 CDs or DVDs, and it interviewed 2,077 consumers 
and 258 IT managers or chief information officers in Brazil, China, Germany, 
India, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United 
States. Researchers found that of counterfeit software that does not come with 
a computer, 45 percent comes from the Internet, and 78 percent of this 
software downloaded from websites or P2P networks included some type of 
spyware, while 36 percent contained Trojans and adware. 
"Cybercriminals are tampering with software code and lacing counterfeit copies 
with malware, putting Canadian businesses and consumers at risk," said Chris 
Tortorice, Corporate Counsel, Anti-Piracy, Microsoft Canada Inc. "While buyers 
should be demanding genuine software when they purchase a computer, it is 
important for industry and government to continue to work together and look 
for new ways to protect people and businesses." 
"Canadians have long been at risk to purchase counterfeit products such as 
software that opens their computer to security breaches that can result in the 
loss, damage, or misuse of important data or personal information," said Scott 
Smith, Director, Intellectual Property and Innovation Policy, The Canadian 
Chamber of Commerce and The Canadian Intellectual Property Council. "Not only 
does counterfeit software harm users, but it also negatively impacts the 
bottom line of legitimate retailers in Canada. Government leadership is 
essential to the development of an effective enforcement regime and the 
facilitation of stakeholder partnerships in the country to protect everyone." 
The IDC study, titled "The Dangerous World of Counterfeit and Pirated 
Software," was released today as part of Microsoft's "Play It Safe" campaign, 
a global initiative to bring awareness to issues related to software piracy. 
The following are among the highlights from the consumer survey: 

    --  Sixty-four percent of the people respondents knew, who had used
        counterfeit software, experienced security issues.
    --  Forty-five percent of the time, counterfeit software slowed
        their PCs, and the software had to be uninstalled
    --  Forty-eight percent of respondents noted that their greatest
        concern with using counterfeit software was data loss
    --  Twenty-nine percent were most concerned with identity theft

Embedding counterfeit software with dangerous malware is a new method for 
criminals to prey on computer users who are unaware of the potential danger.

The IDC white paper also explored the surprising level of end-user software 
installations made on corporate computers, exposing another method for the 
introduction of unsecure software into the workplace ecosystem. Although 38 
percent of IT managers acknowledge that it happens, 57 percent of workers 
admit they install personal software onto employer-owned computers. What is 
alarming is that respondents told IDC that only 30 percent of the software 
they installed on their work computers was problem-free. Sixty-five percent of 
IT managers agree that user-installed software increases an organization's 
security risks. For many in the enterprise, user-installed software may be a 
blind spot in ensuring a secure network.

Customers are encouraged to visit to learn about 
malware and ensure their machine is not infected; if malware is present, the 
site offers tools to remove the infection. Customers shopping for a new 
computer are encouraged to buy from a reputable source to ensure they are 
receiving genuine Microsoft software.

More information about the IDC study is available at the Microsoft Play It 
Safe website,, and newsroom,

About Microsoft Canada

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of 
Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, 
services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full 
potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting 
and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in 
Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country 
dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place 
and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit

Allison Colalillo, on behalf of Microsoft Canada, 416-644-1644

SOURCE: Microsoft Canada Co.

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CO: Microsoft Canada Co.
ST: Ontario

-0- Mar/06/2013 10:59 GMT

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