Software Piracy Costs Billions in Time, Money for Consumers and Businesses
New Microsoft-commissioned study also highlights dangers for those that use
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
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 www.microsoft.com/security 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, http://www.play-it-safe.net, 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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-0- Mar/06/2013 10:59 GMT
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