Beware of using pirated Windows 7 OS
March 19, 2011 1:48am CST
A friend of mine is a student at a local university. He bought a laptop pre-installed with a pirated version of Windows 7 Ultimate. As someone with a limited budget he was happy with the package. One night he left his laptop idle while being connected to the Internet. After about an hour what he saw on the screen surprised him. His laptop was in the process of registering a new account with Yahoo mail. Immediately he shut down his laptop. He asked my opinion on this issue. I made the assumption that the person responsible for the pirate version had created a back door in the package, so that the host computer can be remotely controlled.
3 people like this
• United States
22 Mar 11
Well a Pirated OS is never something you want to have on your computer because things like this can happen also with pirated software comes the Legal risk (Massive Fine and Copyright Infringement which in the United States is $250,000 fine and five years in prison). But that is if they catch you or Microsoft in this case decides to press charges which is in their right to do. But back to the Pirated OS that your friends has. It is quite possible that someone created a back door to where his computer is connecting to the controllers computer or a server the controller owns also it is possible that even with the Virus Scanner that this person is using the same protocol that is used by Windows to establish a Remote connection which would explain how the Virus Scanner isn't picking up on it. If the users is actually just using the Remote Connection function on the Windows 7 then it could be easily stopped but not after he has done what ever he wanted with it. But if it isn't this he is using but a program or modified Windows which by the way Virus Scanners are going to be ineffective on a already Compromised system ie a Pirated OS as the OS will have different files and different code running through it to get around it reporting it to Microsoft. As Windows is programmed to do your friend is also putting at risk everything he does on the Computer from banking to logging into what ever websites or applications he uses as the OS could have Keyloggers and other Malware that the Virus Scanner will not be able to pick up or detect because of how badly Compromised OSes are. Your friend would be better off downloading an Linux OS and using that over risking the massive amount of Personal Information he is likely giving to someone. I would suggest Ubuntu which can be downloaded here http://www.ubuntu.com If he the computer is a Dual core or Quad Core make sure that he downloads the 64bit version of Ubuntu over the standard version which is 32 bit unless it is a single core in which case use the 32 bit version.
23 Mar 11
Thanks for the response. Over here a reward is given to a whistle blower whose information leads to successful prosecution. Easier said than done, and there are more unsuccessful whistle blowers compared to the number which got rewarded. Unfortunately my friend is not keen to change to a Linux distro. It has something to do with the programs that he uses, and his study and work schedule.
26 Mar 11
The last time I saw him he was thinking of changing the OS if things get worse. I did point out to him of the dangers of leaving things as they are but he has his reasons (excuses?) for not doing anything yet. He understood the danger but I guess the id the way of the youth.
20 Mar 11
The incident happened after a prolonged period of being idle while being connected to the Internet. Therefore it can be assumed that the program is meant to work after a certain time lapse, or time delay after the computer is switched on. He bought the laptop at Low Yatt Plaza. I am aware of the piracy situation in the country. I had a discussion about it with one BSA representative a few years back.
19 Mar 11
I can only say is don't use pirated software if you don't know how to properly protect yourself. For most end users with limited knowledge who only know how to use the apps, stick to legit software. For better protection, try installing Threatfire. It monitors the behavior of running programs and blocks any suspicious activity until you manually allow the program to continue.
19 Mar 11
Thanks. I have heard of it, had it downloaded, but up to now have not installed it since I am satisfied with my current set-up. The problem is not with my computer, and I can only give suggestions to him. On a second note I wonder how effective Threatfire is at detecting innocent looking processes like creating a new account. After all there are automatic form filling software out there.