Posted by: 2stepsback | December 15, 2007

Why you should not pirate Windows or anything else

  • That binary is not the one that Microsoft makes. You cannot know for sure what has been changed in it. Whether the only change is the removal of the locking code, or the introduction of hard-coded keys or whether the code is replaced by something sinister.
  • The person who changes this code is very good at handling binary stuff. And definitely not a very honest person. Which means that, in the worst case, he could probably have put in suspect or malicious code. It may not be that bad, most crackers just like to show off their undoubtable technical skills. At least, I fervently hope so.
  • Microsoft will not and cannot support such code – you are on your own.
  • Antivirus packages and anti-spyware and similar other programs are written to work on the original or “genuine” Windows software. They could simply be a waste of money as they just might not work as intended IF your pirated Windows comes from a suspect source. Then, if anything goes wrong, you are very much on your own and without a reliable or trustworthy binary of the operating system.

All these will not happen 90% of the time or in 90% of the cases. But if you do not purchase “legitimate” software, clearly, it boils down to saying that you are willing to add your computer to the large number of zombie computers on the internet, sending out spam to everyone’s email, making DDoS attacks to bring down website access and so on.
You then lose the moral right to complain about spam email.
You then lose the moral right to complain when a huge virus attack destroys your email or causes damages to your company or to the security of your personal and financial information.
After all, you participated in it by donating your computer’s power and resources to create trouble for everyone by using a product not sold by any company.
Microsoft sells only genuine Windows and not “pirated” Windows. That one is distributed by someone else whom neither they nor you nor anybody else knows.
Yes, that is fact, not philosophy.
Read something about botnets and DDoS.

So, in short, do not “pirate” software.
Either buy it or use open source or free (as in freedom, not price) software like Linux.

Of course, I am not talking of the flaws of the genuine Windows product as proved routinely by the number of bugs reported, security patches issued, and innumerable vulnerabilities exposed and ignored by Microsoft in their genuine Windows product as well. It’s almost folklore, but that is not the point of this post.

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