Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Software pirates tap into technology

Filed under

Criminal gangs are increasing taking advantage of the internet to peddle counterfeit software, say experts.

According to an investigator for the trade body, the Business Software Alliance (BSA), criminals hawking counterfeit or cracked software are tapping into the e-commerce potential of the net.

The internet helps the software pirates reach a much bigger pool of customers; it boosts profits because the code can just be downloaded instead of burned on to a CD; it is also cheap and easy to set up so-called warez sites.

Moreover, the chances of being caught are pretty low. It all adds up to a serious problem for those tackling the selling and pirating of software online.

It is an issue acknowledged by the BSA investigator, known only as Mr X. He has to keep his identity secret so he can do his job effectively and avoid the real threats of harm he regularly receives.

"It's getting harder," he says. "Organised crime has definitely picked up on this trend."

Faking it

There is no doubt that many of those peddling pirated programs are from organised crime gangs, said Mr X.

Recent raids on pirates have turned up bundles of cash, fake driving licences and passports as well as counterfeit software.

And it is not just the experienced criminals that are using web technology to distribute the pirated warez.

Some pirates are using peer-to-peer software such as BitTorrent to share the load of downloading what can be very big programs.

They use sophisticated techniques such as Distributed Hash Tables to make it more difficult to track down where the files are held.

Others have turned to older systems such as Usenet and label files using the NZB format to make sure that downloaders pick up all the different parts of the program they are after.

Software and entertainment products were the second most counterfeited category of goods according to a report released in late July by Canada's Gieschen Consultancy.

For the first time, the names of Microsoft and Adobe joined those of Prada, Adidas and Nike in the names of the top 10 most counterfeited brands.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Leftovers: OSS

  • Clasp 0.4 -- Lisp Over LLVM -- Generates Code 200x Faster
    Clasp is a Common Lisp compiler based on LLVM that also provies seamless interoperation with C++ libraries.
  • Bulgarian ‘Future is Code’ school project ongoing
    Bulgaria’s ‘Future is Code’ initiative - where volunteers visit schools to introduce students and teachers to software development - which started in April, is continuing at least until the end of this month. The project has already introduced a handful of schools to open source. The volunteer-led project is supported by Bulgaria’s Ministry of Education.
  • Why viral licensing is a ghost
    According to an historical and widely shared distinction, present on Wikipedia and generally supported by too many free software advocates including some lawyers, “Strong copyleft” (sometimes renamed “viral licensing”) refers to licences governing a copyrighted work to the extent that their copyleft provisions can be efficiently imposed on all kinds of derived works, including linked works: the same copyleft licence becomes applicable to the combination. At the contrary, "Weak copyleft" would refer to licenses (that are generally used for the creation of software libraries) where not all derived works inherit the copyleft license, depending on the manner in which it was derived: copies and changes to the covered software itself become subject to the copyleft provisions of such a license, but not the software that links to it. This allows programs covered by any license (even proprietary) to be compiled and linked against copylefted libraries such as glibc (the GNU project's implementation of the C standard library), and then redistributed without any re-licensing required.
  • The Current State Of Pyston As An Open-Source, High Performance Python
    A status update concerning the Dropbox-sponsored Pyston project was presented earlier this month. A status update on the open-source Python high-performance JIT project was shared at a Pyston meet-up two weeks ago. For those interested, the Pyston blog shared today that this interesting video has now been uploaded.
  • Apple’s Swift iOS Programming Language Could Soon Be in Data Centers
  • Apple’s Swift programming language heads to the data centre
  • Server-Side Swift Unveiled: It's Perfect

today's howtos

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) Will Be Powered by Linux Kernel 4.4 LTS

The Ubuntu developers have published a new iteration of the Ubuntu Kernel Team Weekly Newsletter to inform all users of the world's most popular free operating system about the latest work done on the kernel packages of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Read more