Why Protecting Copy Right is a Cybersecurity Issue?

If you want to gain unauthorized access to a system, there are two main strategy you could follow, one is to find a zero-day vulnerability in the system and exploit it and if you are lucky enough, then you might get access to the system. Another way is to persuade the user not follow best practices for security and use already known exploit to gain access to the system. Then you won’t need to discover unknown 0-day and you could use already know 0-day. If you ask someone to not use Anti-Virus, not update system and so on. They will raise their guard and wonder why you want them to do this and they might not listen. For this reason, hackers gone for old but useful method and it is software piracy. Well, you might persuade them to use pirate software by telling them, why you are paying so much money for license, get this software for free instead, then they won’t get latest update and why black hackers working on uncover new vulnerabilities and white hackers to patch them, unpatched system will be target for hackers with known vulnerabilities.

Protecting intellectual properties and copy right is not just ethical and legal matter. It is matter of inter(national) security. When we are not fighting against piracy, meaning letting user to buy pirate software. It means, we are open the system over known vulnerabilities which patch is available but because it is pirate, user won’t get them and it leads to what we know as botnet (zombie) and cybercriminals could expand their botnets and use infected systems for their criminal purposes. I am asking governments, will you let your citizen’s system use for criminal purposes? If you really concern about national security, you should fight against piracy and protect copy-right. In addition, based on our human right approach, everyone need to have fair access to legitimate software and programs. Political reasons shouldn’t consider as a mean to block access of people to legitimate programs. You should remember, when they don’t have access, they will go for pirate version and this leads their system to be used for criminal purposes and it makes it harder for good guys to combat cybercrimes.

I am requesting international community for better unification against software piracy. This is no longer matter of legal issue but it is important agenda in cybersecurity. We need to united otherwise we would face new attacks from legitimate users (e.g. DDoS, Malware Distribution, illegal blockchain, etc.)



Hackers Want You to Use Crack Software!!

Software piracy has been an issue for many years. Companies losing profit and end users harm their productivities. This is lose-lose situation for software providers and end users. It is only winning situation for cybercriminals and hackers. Let see how cybercriminals gain profit from cracking software.

It is not easy to crack software, they will need to spend days or months to analyze software, reverse engineer it and even after they succeed to crack it, they should solve issues with post-reverse problems. And once they did it, they sell it for very cheap price or for free. Have you ever asked yourself, why someone have to spend so much resources on cracking software and then distribute it for cheap price or free? This is what happens, in many cases, they have backdoors and malwares already installed. So without spending any resources and figuring out how to bypass firewall, anti-virus, etc. They just have something inside your crack software. If the crack software is operating system like Windows or MacOS, they could even do more, they could release new backdoor instead of update. They could change OS in a way that Anti-Virus software couldn’t detect it. So when you want to save some money, you will have to pay even more.

Experience shows pirate version of software is weak against threats and usually comes with spying tools and backdoors. In addition, there won’t be any support for pirate software so if there is legitimate security issue in the system, no one is going to help you to fix it and you have to spend several resources to fix the issue.

For this reason, you should always use genuine version of software and once you do that, you could come and think about protecting your system. However, if you are using pirate software, you have no way to protect yourself. It is also a good way to check if someone is really a security expert or pretend to be one. If someone said, I am security expert but he or she is using pirate software or distributing crack, you could be sure, that person recently started something about security but has a very very very long way to become security expert.


Sale Privacy, Buy Pirate

Think about a case that someone is going to sale you a house with a very cheap price and he claim that there is nothing wrong with this house. If you take a look at the house it is nice and there no problem, however when you move into it and start living there, you will see there are a lot of troubles. In addition, the house is being control and everything thing you say and whatever you do is being recorded by secret devices and wire-tapping technique. Here is the question, are you willing to give up your privacy and an enjoyable life to get something with cheaper price. In reality, it is not only things which you lose. When it comes to software piracy it is similar scenario, you could get pirate version of software cheaper or even free, but what you have a lot to lose when you use pirate software.

There is no such thing as pirate software is same as genuine one. When you get pirate software, you have a lot to lose, you will lose following:

1) Privacy: there is no guarantee of your privacy, you shouldn’t surprise if you’re personal data, family pictures, username and password and other data share online and even sale in black market.

2) Protection: There is no way to protect pirate software against Hackers, Malwares (Virus, Worm, Trojans, Spyware, etc) and other threats.

3) Support: If something went really wrong and there is no way to repair it, you couldn’t contact support of your software vendor for help when you have pirated software.

4) Reliability: Pirate software is NOT reliable and will crash and you will face several issues with it.

There are other disadvantages when you use pirate software. In other world when you use pirate software you will pay some money by cash (or you won’t pay anything) and the rest you will pay with your privacy, protection and others.

Crack and make a pirate version of software is NOT an easy job. Have you ever ask yourself why people are going through so much hardship and trouble to develop a pirate software and give it for free or cheap price and in the other hand they put themselves in a risk that if authorities catch them they could face punishment for breaking copy-right? They will give you free or cheap software in order to get something more from you which is your privacy and protection and other things. Anti-Virus software won’t work well on pirate operating system. Even though, you buy a genuine Anti-Virus, it won’t work well on pirate software. If you buy a pirate Anti-Virus, it won’t work in genuine software. You should have both must be genuine software for everything to work well.

When a software being manufacturer such as Windows Operating System, it goes through several tests and it must pass several standards and get approval from different legal departments to guarantee that product which deliver to the user is safe, secure and reliable. When software is being crack, there is no test or standard approval. No one will give approval to illegal software or even check it for privacy and security and it would be user’s risk when use a pirate software.

What can we do? Instead of looking for pirate software, look for ways to get genuine software, in some cases, you could get genuine software for free. For example, if you are a university student or lecturer, you could check Microsoft DreamSpark  and if your university is registered under this program, you could get several Microsoft Software for free. If it is not there, you could ask your university to consider this program. For companies, there are several licensing options in Microsoft and you could take a look at Microsoft Licensing . For other software, there are options for students, individual and companies. The important point is look to get a Genuine Software. It is not just about legal issue; it is more about how you protect your PC, Family, Friend and others against online and offline threats such as Hackers, Malware, Identity Theft and others.


Genuine Software = pay for license = Peace of Mind

Pirate Software = don’t pay (or pay a little cash) + Pay with your privacy + Pay with your data + Pay with reliability+ Pay with security + pay other things = trouble, trouble, crash, not working, trouble, trouble


When it comes to software make a wise and safe choice.

Use Genuine, Stay Safe

When it comes to Software Piracy, most people would refer it as Crime or address it as ethically and legally wrong. Recently, some people bring issue of risk and their security problem when user uses pirate software. Here, I am going to explain a bit further and discuss about the risk of pirate software. First, let’s take a look at three different operating systems all around the world. Windows is an operating system designed by Microsoft and it is licensed base and you could buy it as pre-install, which mean buy a laptop or PC and Windows already install on it or buy its package or DVD and install it in your PC. Second one is Macintosh, it designed by Apple it is also license base and mostly pre-installed in Apple PCs , however its standalone pack is available and you could buy DVD and install it. And lastly, it is Linux, it is open source , which mean you could get version for free and use it without pay for it( note, some version is paid-base ,but they are use as server or workstation rather than general use). Among these products, Windows has the highest rank of Software piracy, which means they are many people around the world that they are using non-genuine version of windows. In Linux, we don’t have software piracy cases, simply because it is free, no one will crack software that is free and there is no discussion about pirate and non-genuine Linux, because it is free for everyone. About Macintosh, when we ask user about Macintosh, they would discuss about its hardware rather than Operating System. For example, if we ask people why you are using Macintosh, they would say that because it is light and design of hardware is nice or it is not heavy to carry and these things, rather than discuss about which feature are cool inside the Macintosh, there are people that like Macintosh as operating system, but most people use Macintosh because they like Apple hardware design. Now, let’s talk about Windows, when you buy a PC without Operating System, most of people would look for Windows. Just go to your nearest PC shopping center and have a look at Operating Systems there, you will see a lot of Windows Package there , rather than Package for Macintosh (package refer to DVD that operating system is there and software of Operating System). Therefore, these are some scenarios that you might face when you buy laptop:

1)      You buy Apple PC, Macintosh is there.

2)       You buy PC, you could install Linux for free

3)      You buy PC and you should buy Windows (sometimes Windows is installed sometimes NOT).


Therefore, when you buy Apple, because Operating System is there then that would be fine. When you buy a PC without Operating System (Sometimes they put as free MS-Dos, no one use MS-Dos these days). You need Operating System, Linux is free but it is NOT as friendly and nice as Windows, computer beginners would have nightmare with Linux, but for professionals it is ok. However, if you are planning to get free Linux as operating system, ready for say good bye to easy things and you probably have to write several commands to do a task that you would do it by a few clicks in Windows. Therefore, Windows becomes popular, but when you want to buy Windows you might ask why should I pay again, after I paid for my PC (Hardware)? It is only a DVD. That is when story begin and people looking for FREE windows using illegal ways (they are legal ways to get free Windows) and then it start story for hackers to get more victims.

When it comes to software piracy, people might find Windows with cheaper price or even free and they would buy it. When it comes to Software Piracy, people would tell these:

1)      It is only a CD/DVD or a program, why should I pay so much?

2)      There is no different between genuine and Non-Genuine one.

3)      By using crack, I would save a lot of money.(Crack here, refers to a way that you bypass Genuine validation and make use of pirate software)

Let me answer these questions first, software even though ,they are programs only but they worth much , it might be like a CD or DVD but they would do a jobs better than hardware. As example, in some version of Windows you have Windows Fax, you could just connect your PC to dial-up and then write your FAX and send it and if someone sent you a FAX, then you will see it using that, this small piece of Windows , would save cost of buying a Fax Machine. Or consider Microsoft Office Excel, you just type data and generate graph for you, Instead of using hand and draw a graph. These are small piece of software or CD but they job are sometime more than expensive hardware devices and it will worth to buy them. About different between Genuine and Non-Genuine software, there are totally different , there is NO SUCH thing that non-genuine software will work and do a job as good as genuine one. If you look at any perspective from Security, Performance, Support and many things, no matter how hard you try you couldn’t make non-genuine software as genuine one. You won’t save money by using Crack or Non-Genuine software, at the first time, you might see that you pay less or nothing but after you use it for a few times, you will see what I mean. Just calculate time and money that you would spend to repair your PC or bring it to repair shop or reinstall windows to solve a problem that would be solve in few minute by contacting support. The question that you should as when you buy or download pirate software should be:

1)      Why this software is freely or with a very cheap price available?

2)      Who made them?

3)      Does it worth to do that or I should pay price later on?


Most of the pirate software that will sell would be available somewhere for free. Microsoft and other Software companies would give good benefits to people that they would sell their products. Which means , if you sell Genuine software you will get more profit that pirate one, however, people sell pirate one might be not aware of that.

But why this software is freely available? This question should be answer by people who are making pirate software. In making pirate software you should buy a Genuine software and then learn about it Genuine or Copy-right protection files and then make changes and delete or replace some files in order to crack it and it is NOT easy task and what you will get as software that do crack is something that create not easy. Then we could say that why people would give something that work hard on it for free? Answer is easy, they want to get more benefit out of it, and they will give you free software and get free hardware from you.  These people are usually hackers, don’t shock if I tell you that someone using your PC to stole large amount of money from a bank by using pirate version of software that you have. Hackers and other Cybercriminals looking for a way to make something that we call it as Zombie or Botnet; they will use it in order to build a powerful network without pay for hardware and also remove trace of their crimes. The easiest way to build botnet is to pass around pirate software. Some pirate software will come with Malware that your Anti-Virus would detect it. But smarter hacker would distribute pirate software and then they will wait until the time come and use your PC. Here is one main different, when you buy Genuine Windows, it goes through a huge validation and testing process to make sure there is no Backdoor and Spyware there and nothing would violence privacy and after these confirm then Microsoft allows to sell those products. But in pirate version of Windows they don’t care about privacy and hackers make pirate software to get advantage of your PC to do their jobs. Very simple example, is update Microsoft will release update to address vulnerability and possible problem of Windows, most of update are private one, which mean Microsoft and trusted people know and discover them and NO one use it to hack or damage other people, but after they release those update bad guys also will reverse engineer them that mean see what is the update and then find out the bug and use it to harm you. If your PC update then you would be safe. However, if you don NOT update your PC you will be at risk. Pirate version of Windows will NEVER get update. I am sure that you will see that your non-genuine software might bypass Windows Genuine Advantage or get update and everything seems to be fine. But is NOT, by modifying DNS and put some rootkit to hide them and modify Malware Scan Engine to not detect them they could do that and you seems that you are getting update but they will NOT work. After you don’t get real update (not fake one), then your PC would be at risk and hacker that sold or give you pirate software will come to you.  They will use your PC without you know about it to do their job for example they would hack someone else using your PC or they will find information about you and your friend and then sell it and use it. In one world, if you are using pirate software of any products not only Microsoft one, then DON’T EVER think about security , no matter how hard you try or put router or firewall or Anti-Virus , they done crack and they would use it to get you. Some people said we use pirate software and we never connect to internet. That’s a way but note that software is going through software development lifecycle, and due to time it might find problem and company vendor would need to patch update to resolve some compatibility and performance issue and make it better. If you don’t get update, you will always get less experience.

Hacker and how they will use pirate software to make their crime easier and the worse thing is that many people help them just by buying pirate software. Some people believe that Linux or Macintosh is safer than Windows, I would say NO, because user of Macintosh and Linux are using genuine products, while many people using pirate version of Windows. If you look at hacking or virus attacks , you will see old trick has been used for many years, which means user won’t get update and same old trick of hacking will use for several times , rather than new one.

Now, after so much scary discuss about hackers, you might ask how I can get genuine one. You could do that for free or a cheap price. If you are a company, contact Microsoft in your country, they will help you. For Students, you might be able to get free software, if your faculty is subscribe to Microsoft, have a look at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/academic/dd861349.aspx

Microsoft also gives promotions and other cases for you to get free software ask Microsoft in your country about it. What I said was just an example.

I also want to ask you in order to protect more people against hackers and cybercriminal , report any software piracy cases that you seen , for Microsoft report them to:


And for other products, please check their website.

I believe that if we work together against piracy we could reduce Cybercrime and also protect millions of people. Some people said Windows Genuine Advantage is a buggy tools, I would said it is a Great Security tools , that would tell you someone is watching you , this is NOT Microsoft product. Also, you plan to get Genuine Software and replace it with pirate one, please completely format your PC after backup. Because if you do repair install, then component of pirate software might remain but f you format and install new Windows, they would gone.






Designed for Hackers (Pirate Software)

Using genuine (original) software is very important factor in computer security and defends against Hackers, Virus, Worm, Trojan and other Malware. When we talk about genuine software many people might think about legal issue or global economic effect and these things. Here, I am going to describe why you should care about genuine software.

People who are creating pirate software mostly are interrelated to Hackers. Their process is like this, first they will buy a Genuine version of product because they want to crack it, then they will work on it to crack the code or crack Genuine Protection Application such as (Windows Genuine Advantage in Windows Operating System). They usually have global community, they will teach that how people could do crack and also during cracking process, they will ask their community member for help and they discuss problems that they face during cracking and finally they will crack the software (create illegal copy and you could create copy from that, in Genuine Version if you create illegal copy then it will blocked when you connect to internet). This sample will pass over all criminal members (people who crack) in all over the world, and then they will give it to reseller for free or by a cheap amount of money. After a while these software would be freely available over the internet.

 You should note something that usually big guys, who are the top member of this pirate maker team, are not looking for money. They could sell this software with more expensive price but they don’t and also at the end they put it as free for everyone. What we could conclude here is that they are not looking for money of selling product. Of course they earn some money but main people will not care about that money much. If you used pirate software before or you have experience it, you will see that you could buy one copy with very cheap price and then install it in thousands of PC. What they are looking at is your hardware that will act as server for them.

Let me give you example of one of this pirate software which is non genuine version of Windows Vista. When you use this software it shows you all update and you will get all update similar to genuine one. When you visit http://www.microsoft.com/genuine to check whether your Windows is genuine then it will show you are running genuine Windows. If you show these to anyone that you get pirate software which shows you are running genuine and get all update, they will definitely want it. But let me show you what is really behind it. Firstly, it shows you are running genuine Windows, because you never connected to Microsoft server at all!!!!!!! , in technical term they modify DNS (Domain Name System). When you are typing a URL such as http://www.microsoft.com then it will convert it to something (IP Address) such that it will host in server. By modifying DNS you could type http://www.microsoft.com but it will link you to http://www.hack.com. It is a modify inside your system, that’s why you are always sees Microsoft website but it is something else, criminals modify this pirate software in a way that when you type http://www.microsoft.com/genuine it will link to their website and their website designed exactly same as Microsoft Genuine Website and it will also ask you to download something to verify but everything is fake. They completely modify your OS. About update they also do similar thing for your update, but update patch will assigned with your Windows Activation ID, if you are using pirate software, you never activated it and update might come to your PC and installed but because their Activation ID is different they will not help you. They are certain update that will not need activation ID to work but not all of them.  There are several other ways to fool user that they are using genuine software but they use Pirate one, so be very careful when you buy software. In case of Windows, you could contact Microsoft Genuine team and gain assistance from them.

I explained too long for non-genuine software to tell you that do not fool with people that always say my PC running pirate software everything are fine I get all update and so on. They will never tell you that how many times they format their PC, how much data they have been lost and how many times they have been hacked.

After they give you pirate software, they are usually put some Backdoor and Malware inside your PC, sometimes they did not put any Malware but they will wait for a few month, Microsoft will release security update usually each month, three month they will wait , you don’t get update and they will use reverse engineering (review update that Microsoft released and then try to find a way to find out what was the risk and then find the risk and use it to damage you, if you are update then you are safe but if you are not update they could gain access to your PC) and compromise your PC and here is when story is begin. They use your PC to build a Botnet or Zombie PC, and they use your PC to do their criminal activity and also stole your information. When you use non-genuine software (it is not only Microsoft, it apply to any other Software Manufacture):

You will not pay much money or you don’t pay any money at when you are using pirate software all but you pay these:

1)      Privacy: your family photo, your personal email address, your credit card, your bank account whatever action you do in your PC will be visible to other. You don’t have privacy when you are using pirate software.

2)      Hardware: you are running software on a physical hardware. You will not get full advantage of your hardware resources. Because hackers will use your PC as their server and they use you memory to do heavy process such as cracking password and your PC storage (harddisk) to store their information and your PC to hack your friend’s PC or hack someone else. That’s why , users that are using pirate software always facing performance problem in their PC( PC is too slow)

3)      Security: You install the best and the most powerful Anti-Virus, you are still at risk. People who cracked the Windows (make genuine as non-genuine) are make it as way that it your security software could not help you much even though it be genuine and powerful

4)      Ease of use: In pirate or non-genuine software you always face to problems that are technical, your company manufacturer will not help you at all, because your software is not come from them (pirate Windows is not manufactured by Microsoft, it is manufactured by Hackers). Just you calculate the money and time that you always pay to solve your computer problems.

I know that some people told me that they use Pirate Software but they never connect to internet, my answer is this, pirate software itself will keep going slow and slow and user face to situation that should format PC, in the other hand Malware (Virus, Worm,…) not always come from internet, they could effect you just by inserting a removable storage such as flashmemory or a CD/DVD. And if you keep format your PC so often, your harddisk itself will damage, because formatting is a very heavy process for harddisk and make it often could damage your physical harddisk. If you use Genuine Version of Windows and be following certain rule and regulation, you will never need to format you PC at all.

Some advises:

User: When you want to use software make sure to know about its licensing and do not use pirate software. We as computer security people could not help you if you are using pirate software. There are ways to get Genuine Software for free. For example if you are a student, your university might be member of MSDN AA, this is a Microsoft program for students, if your university subscribe, then you will get many of software for free. Other companies also have these things for students.

IT Professional/Computer Security Experts: You will not achieve, secure computing and you could not secure your environment that running pirate software. As I said these software come from hackers, how you could trust software that hand over to you by a hacker?

If you want to do assessment about security, first question that you should ask is this: Are these PCs all running on Genuine Software? Then you look for Firewall, Anti-Virus, update and so on.


Cybercrime is not all about Hackers and Malware, Cybercriminals uses pirate software to do their crimes, fight against Software Piracy is fight against hacker and other Cyber criminals.

 To know more about software piracy in Microsoft please visit : http://www.microsoft.com/howtotell/

I add some image of Pirate Software (DO NOT BUY THESE) your privacy worth more.