IDC: 33 Percent of Software is Counterfeit, Malware Market will Reach $114 Billion this Year
March 26, 2013 3:12 PM
Microsoft commissioned IDC for the pirated software report
The International Data Corporation (IDC) has released a new white paper -- commissioned by Microsoft -- that focuses on
counterfeit and pirated software
The paper, titled "The Dangerous World of Counterfeit and Pirated Software: How Pirated Software Can Compromise the Cybersecurity of Consumers, Enterprises, and Nations...and the Resultant Costs in Time and Money," said that about 33 percent of software is counterfeit.
The paper also said the malware market will reach $114 billion this year thanks to counterfeit software. In addition, consumers will waste about 1.5 billion hours dealing with this malware.
This paper was made using information from a 10-country survey of 1,104 consumer respondents, 973 business user respondents and 268 CIO/IT manager respondents.
Some highlights from the report include the fact that 78 percent of pirated software has spyware attached; 45 percent of users had to uninstall their pirated software because of computer performance issues; those who need to visit websites for stolen activation keys suffer a greater risk of getting a Trojan or adware infection by about 36 percent, and the total worldwide amount spent fighting issues related with counterfeit software (identity theft, repair, recovering data, etc.) is $22 billion.
"Yes, over the next seven years, the installed base of PCs will grow by a factor of less
than 1.5 — versus a factor of 3 in the past seven years — but software-laden phones
and tablets will take up the slack," said the IDC white paper. "And these mobile devices may be even harder to manage — and keep secure — in enterprise settings than PCs. Nor is it likely that the creators of malware and of counterfeit software will depart a lucrative business that may be one of the safest criminal environments within which to operate.
"It seems logical to infer, then, that the security risks faced by users of counterfeit software can only increase. Which is the reason we conducted this research: to quantify those risks and help end users and enterprises become aware of them.
"But the best prevention is simply to use the genuine item. This means procuring
computers and software from trusted sources, avoiding software with too-good-to-be-true prices, and following activation and registration protocols."
Microsoft definitely makes strong efforts to combat piracy. In 2006, it sued resellers for selling pirated software. Just last year, it accused UK retailer Comet Group PLC of
being a kingpin of the software piracy world
-- devoting an entire factory to the sale of illicit goods.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer even blamed piracy for
low Windows Vista sales
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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