1 in 3 chance of coming across malware in pirated software, report says
Malware being purposely injected into pirated or fake software which could cost enterprises about $500bn this year, a new report reveals.
According to a joint study by IDC and the National University of Singapore (NUS), of the overall $500bn, businesses will spend $127bn to address security issues and $364bn to deal with data breaches, and about two-thirds of losses, or nearly $315bn would be the spent to deal with organised crime.
Microsoft Cybercrime Center associate general counsel & executive director David Finn said that about 60% of consumers surveyed say their greatest fear from infected software is the loss of data, files or personal information, followed by unauthorised Internet transactions (51%) and hijacking of email, social networking and bank accounts (50%).
"But what really struck me is that, despite fearing such losses and attacks, 43% of these same consumers admitted they do not install security updates, making them sitting ducks for cybercriminals," Finn added.
"Not protecting your computer these days is equivalent to leaving the doors and windows to your house unlocked.
"So when it comes to cybersecurity, we have a lot more work to do to persuade people to change their behaviour."
The report also added that the instance of coming across malware in a pirated copy of software is one in three and that of in a PC purchased with pirated software is 61%.
National University of Singapore Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering professor Biplab Sikdar said it is hugely concerning that brand new PCs are coming pre-infected with dangerous malware due to pirated software, making the users and companies readily vulnerable to security breaches.
"The university’s forensic tests clearly indicate how cybercriminals are increasingly leveraging the unsecure supply chain of piracy to spread malware and compromise PC security in a serious way.
"We would only recommend usage of genuine software for online safety and cybersecurity."