If you’re thinking of purchasing your next batch of PCs for work from certain countries in Asia, you might want to think again as new research from Microsoft, as part of its Asia PC Test Purchase Sweep, has found that 83 per cent of brand-new computers come with pirated software.
One of the most common practices for those installing this on new computers is to switch off security features like Windows Defender and antivirus software, because this means they can run hack tools required to activate the pirate programs.
This means that the PC you use at work could be left vulnerable to malware and cyberthreats – and you might not even be aware that your PC isn’t protected. In fact, the sweep revealed that 84 per cent of new PCs loaded with pirated software were also infected with malware, such as Trojans – a program used to gain remote access and control of devices.
Assistant general counsel and regional director of the Digital Crimes Unit with Microsoft Asia Mary Jo Schrade said: “Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their techniques to evade security measures and embedding their malware into pirated software is one of their tactics as it allows them to compromise large numbers of PCs and access vast amount of stolen credentials with ease.”
To help protect you against purchasing pirated software, look out for low prices, poor quality packaging or a disc that’s been badly produced such as with a printed paper label stuck on it. Always buy your computer from a reputable manufacturer and if you’re unfamiliar with the brand, always find out about them online first.
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