Study: Software piracy pays off – for criminals, not for consumers and businesses

Businesses worldwide will spend nearly $500 billion this year to deal with the problems caused by malware on pirated software, according to a new study released Tuesday.

Pirated software will also take a heavy toll on consumers: $25 billion will be spent dealing with security threats and costly computer fixes.

The finding “reaffirms what we in Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit have seen for some time now – cybercrime is a booming business for organized crime groups all over the world,” writes David Finn, associate general counsel and executive director of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center.

The study, “The Link Between Pirated Software and Cybersecurity Breaches: How Malware in Pirated Software is Costing the World Billions,” conducted by IDC and the National University of Singapore, was released as part of Microsoft’s “Play It Safe” campaign. The campaign is a global initiative to create greater awareness of the connection between cybersecurity breaches, malware and piracy.

The results, Finn writes, show once again “how vital it is that individuals, small businesses, enterprises and government institutions buy new computers from reputable sources and demand genuine software. Because if you don’t, you never know what will come along for the ride.”

More information about the IDC study is available at the Microsoft Play It Safe website. To read Finn’s full post, head over to Microsoft on the Issues.

You might also be interested in:

· Marlee Matlin: “Glad Microsoft has invested so much into making the Xbox accessible”
· Microsoft in Education Global Forum Educator Awards give six schools funding for teaching projects
· Microsoft Research’s David Rothschild makes March Madness predictions

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff