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
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
"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
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
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, http://www.microsoft.com/news/ipcrimes.
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 www.microsoft.ca.
SOURCE: Microsoft Canada Co.
For further information:
Allison Colalillo, on behalf of Microsoft Canada, 416-644-1644