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Free Software? Is it piracy?


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#1 ChrisMN

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 04:53 PM

I have been told (from someone here at BC) to go to something called "thepiratebay.org" and download something called a "torrent" for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and that MBAM lets you have the *FULL* version for free. Is this true? or is it piracy? Whats a torrent? Whats a keygen? Are they safe and legal? I am new to alot of this so sorry if this sounds amateur.

Thank you.

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#2 Pandy

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 06:05 PM

OH ChrisMN,

Thank you for posting this question here. I would like to reply unequivocally that YES, this is indeed piracy.

Torrenting is a way for anyone, even if they have small bandwidth, to participate in the peer to peer downloading and uploading of huge data transfers. The data is hosted and you just download or upload from the torrent site. It is not in and of itself bad. It can be very useful and there are legitimate reasons to use, or participate in torrenting. The problem begins when people upload copyrighted versions of applications, music, or what-have-you.

Malwarebytes, the full paid version is indeed copyrighted and it IS piracy to download this program. A keygen is a generated key developed by way of "cracking" the software application and then making a key to operate the software program. This is completely illegal.

Bleeping Computer does NOT condone the discussion or use of KeyGens or the torrenting of copyrighted materials. It is stated in the forum rules that you will find here. As quoted from the rules...

No subject matter will be allowed whose purpose is to defeat existing copyright or security measures. If a user persists and/or the activity is obviously illegal the staff reserves the right to remove such content and/or ban the user. This would also mean encouraging the use or continued use of pirated software is not permitted, and subject to the same consequences.


Thank you for bringing this to the staff's attention ChrisMN :thumbsup:

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#3 garmanma

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 06:14 PM

First there is absolutely no reason to go to a torrent site to download Malwarebytes when you can download it for free from their website
http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php
The only difference between the free and paid for version is auto-updating
Torrent sites are used, by many, for illegally downloading music and other programs instead of paying for them
Because of the nature of torrent sites they are notorious for spreading virusesMany times the download is incomplete or corrupt
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#4 scff249

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 01:15 AM

The only difference between the free and paid for version is auto-updating


Unless I'm mistaken, the other benefit of the paid version is a realtime protection module.

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#5 ChrisMN

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 01:35 AM

Thanks for the much needed information. I knew it seemed fishy... :flowers:

ChrisMN

:thumbsup: and happy birthday Ghandi! (It's the Mahatma's birthday today ya know..)

Edited by ChrisMN, 02 October 2009 - 01:36 AM.


#6 quietman7

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 07:16 AM

A Keygen is a program which is used to illegally bypass copy protection on games and commercial software by generating a random serial number, or "cd key", that matches the software it is intended to be used with.

A Cracking tool is used to copy commercial software illegally by breaking the various copy-protection and registration techniques being used.

The practice of using cracking tools, keygens, warez or any pirated software is not only considered illegal activity but it is a serious security risk.

Cracking applications are used for illegally breaking (cracking) various copy-protection and registration techniques used in commercial software. These programs may be distributed via Web sites, Usenet, and P2P networks.

trendmicro.com/vinfo

...warez and crack web pages are being used by cybercriminals as download sites for malware related to VIRUT and VIRUX. Searches for serial numbers, cracks, and even antivirus products like Trend Micro yield malcodes that come in the form of executables or self-extracting files...quick links in these sites also lead to malicious files. Ads and banners are also infection vectors...

Keygen and Crack Sites Distribute VIRUX and FakeAV

...warez/piracy sites ranked the highest in downloading spyware...just opening the web page usually sets off an exploit, never mind actually downloading anything. And by the time the malware is finished downloading, often the machine is trashed and rendered useless.

University of Washington spyware study

...One of the most aggressive and intrusive of all bad websites on the Internet are serial, warez, software cracking type sites...they sneak malware onto your system...Where do trojan viruses originate? One of the biggest malware distributors on the Internet are serial/warez/code cracking sites.

Bad Web Sites: Malware

Some of the worst types of malware infections can be contracted and spread by visiting crack, keygen, warez and other pirated software sites. In many cases, those sites are infested with a smörgåsbord of malware and an increasing source of system infection. Those who attempt to get software for free can end up with a computer system so badly damaged that recovery is not possible and it cannot be repaired. When that happens there is nothing you can do besides reformatting and reinstalling the OS.
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#7 MishY

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 09:11 AM

You can get free software or nearly for free if you look for promotions and deals either on the internet or newspaper ads.
Found Kaspersky anti-virus 2010 at Fry's on sale for $49.99 with a $50 rebate. This was for a 3 user license good for a year.
It was a 1 day sale so if you snooze you lose.

#8 Queen-Evie

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 10:55 AM

Another way to get discounted software:
If there is a REPUTABLE program you are interested in, see if that product has a trial use offer.
Install it, use it, evaluate it.
If you like it, don't purchase until the trial is almost up. Many times the manufacturers will offer a discount to entice you to purchase the product.

(a bit off topic but since Mishy mentioned good deals, I figured I'd throw this out for you)

#9 ChrisMN

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 02:51 PM

My question(s) have been answered. Thanks all who helped.

#10 BubbaT

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 04:14 PM

There is nothing inherently wrong with torrents. It's just a technique for reducing traffic on an uploaders site by spreading out upload duties among many people ( including those who are downloading ).

There are also many good torrents you can get. "thepiratebay" is a site which indexes torrents ( in other words it is a search site which specializers in torrents ). However the word "pirate" is a big hint.
While torrents themselves are not illegal, a lot of torrents are for illegal material.

Let me give you an example of torrents that are perfectly fine. Stanford University offers video courses free as part of their "open university" program. These are available by a variety of means including torrents.

Getting a free version of some typically for pay software is usually a bad sign. Not only that but often you are guaranteed that malware is built in to the software. ( saves you the problem of installing it yourself. )

#11 ChrisMN

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 10:31 PM

Thank you BubbaT. Now I know that torrents aren't ALL bad. :thumbsup:

#12 quietman7

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 11:05 PM

No they are not all bad but they are still a security risk.

Torrents are part of peer-to-peer file distribution systems used for sharing and transferring files within a large network of users.

Using any peer-to-peer (P2P) or file sharing program (i.e. Limewire, eMule, Kontiki, BitTorrent, uTorrent) is a security risk which can make your system susceptible to a smörgåsbord of malware infections, remote attacks, and exposure of personal information.

The reason for this is that file sharing relies on its members giving and gaining unfettered access to computers across the P2P network. This practice can make you vulnerable to data and identity theft, system infection and remote access exploit by attackers who can take control of your computer without your knowledge. Even if you change the risky default settings to a safer configuration, downloading files from an anonymous source increases your exposure to infection because the files you are downloading may actually contain a disguised threat. Many malicious worms and Trojans, such as the Storm Worm, target and spread across P2P files sharing networks because of their known vulnerabilities. In some instances the infection may cause so much damage to your system that recovery is not possible and a Repair Install will NOT help!. In those cases, the only option is to wipe your drive, reformat and reinstall the OS.

Even the safest P2P file sharing programs that do not contain bundled spyware, still expose you to risks because of the very nature of the P2P file sharing process. By default, most P2P file sharing programs are configured to automatically launch at startup. They are also configured to allow other P2P users on the same network open access to a shared directory on your computer. The best way to eliminate these risks is to avoid using P2P applications.
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#13 madman6510

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 12:49 AM

Quietman7, that is partially incorrect.

While other peer-to-peer networks may work by the user opening up a shared directory, the BitTorrent protocol works differently. It can be a safe method of file transfer, providing that the file you are downloading is clean. BitTorrent shares ONLY the exact data that you downloaded (if you are seeding), or the data that you explicitly chose to upload (if you are hosting your own .torrent on a tracker somewhere). A lot of legit companies use BitTorrent as a way to host files and keep the strain off of their servers, such as here.

I'm sure that could be put a little better, that's just the quick and dirty, but it is a secure (not as in https:// secure, but as in "random bots won't use it to infiltrate your computer" secure. They have much, much more efficient ways of doing that) protocol.

Edited by madman6510, 03 October 2009 - 12:52 AM.


#14 BubbaT

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 01:50 AM

How can I get infected visiting Stanfords Engineering Everywhere site, downloading the torrent files they have for their videos, (for example)

http://see.stanford.edu/see/lecturelist.as...aa-866adcae1111

and then using utorrent to download them?

#15 BubbaT

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 01:54 AM

A lot of legit companies use BitTorrent as a way to host files and keep the strain off of their servers, such as here.


madman6510, you wouldn't happen to know where I can get kubuntu via torrent? I want to use it to replace the debian I took off my computer, because I don't like the two year release cycle.




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