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Last updated on April 25, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

Counterfeit Software Reports Double

December 4, 2009

According to Microsoft, reports of counterfeit software has doubled during the past two years.

The US technology giant held a Consumer Action Day on Wednesday to highlight risks posed by pirated software.

David Finn, Microsoft’s head of anti-piracy enforcement, says, “It is all too common for software pirates to tamper with genuine code.”

“Why wouldn’t a criminal syndicate that manufactures counterfeit software merely add a few lines of malicious code in order to compromise the security of your computer and victimize you a second time by stealing your identity or personal information?”

According to Finn, people go as far as duplicating the packaging of the Microsoft software, leaving people not knowing whether they’re buying the real authorized version.

Finn says, “We know a lot of people still think of software counterfeiting as a victimless crime. Yet, I think we’ve hit a tipping point. The sheer increase in the rate of counterfeit software reports is remarkable.”

To thwart software pirates, Finn leads a team of lawyers, paralegals, investigators, and forensic specialists.

Reports of counterfeit software have more than doubled in the last two years, with people voluntarily alerting Microsoft online.

“We’re not talking about some average Joe copying his install disk here,” Finn said. “Software piracy has become much more sophisticated. More and more, there are serious criminals engaged in this.”

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