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Pirate software peddled on auction sites.

Tier-3 : 08 October, 2007  (Technical Article)
Tier-3 warns against purchasing digital delivery software from auction sites as it may be illegal and expose the purchaser to virus risks.
Tier-3 has welcomed news that the BSA (Business Software Alliance) successfully stopped more than 36,000 illegal software products being sold through auction sites in the first six months of 2007, but cautioned that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

'A growing number of sellers are side-stepping auction site anti-counterfeiting rules by offering digital downloads of pirated software and operating systems. Whilst they may technically remain within site sales rules, they also introduce the very real risk of malware infections for buyers,' said Geoff Sweeney, Tier-3's CTO.

'The problem with digital delivery of software is that as, well as running the risk of being supplied an illegal edition of the package or operating system, the user can also end up downloading all sorts of malware onto their machine,' he added.

According to Sweeney, many conventional IT security products are incapable of effectively scanning downloads containing hidden malware and, by the time the file is executed, it can be too late to stop key loggers, viruses and other nasties from infecting the users' PC. IT managers faced with the prospect of users downloading illegal software that contains malware need to take a safety net approach, including using behavioural analysis software to detect and prevent malware hidden within software downloads from running.

"Sourcing illegal software at ultra-discount prices on auction sites is bad enough, but then downloading that software from an unknown URL is absolute madness. The auction sites have to put a stop to this method of pirated software delivery', Sweeney continued.
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