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Windows installation from Torrents


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#1 loggier

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:27 AM

There are a lot of torrents out there of windows installation, and many people use them on their PCs.
I'm wondering how often these systems come with malicious software embedded ? Any stats on this? Or maybe stories from your experience?

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#2 BlackSpyder

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 05:45 PM

Going from what I see personally, everytime the torrents are infected with some nasty stuff. No stats as there is no way to tell how many people use a given torrented .ISO file. It's not worth the risk, if you can spring a Legitimate Windows install disc (about $100USD) do it, if you cant there are other options like Linux and BSD which are free (as in free beer) with WINE to emulate the windows enviroment for certain programs should you need it.

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#3 loggier

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:52 AM

Going from what I see personally, everytime the torrents are infected with some nasty stuff.


What kind of malicious modules they embed and for what purpose? I mean, there are so many ppl using these systems, I would be very surprised if its something real nasty like a backdoor allowing access to local data etc
From what I sow on the torrent threads though, fresh installs of these systems tend to send some suspicious packets to places like Russia. Just wondering, what's that about?

#4 quietman7

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:28 PM

The practice of using torrents, 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

...a staggering 59% of the key generators and crack tools downloaded from P2P networks represent a security liability since they contain malicious and unwanted code. "25% of the Web sites we accessed offering counterfeit product keys, pirated software, key generators or crack tools attempted to install either malicious software or potentially unwanted software. A significant number of these Web sites attempted to install malicious or unwanted code...In addition to the peer-to-peer networks, 11% of the key generators and crack tools downloaded from Web sites were also plagued by malicious and unwanted software.

Microsoft Reveals the Risks of Using Pirated XP and Office
Whatever You Do, Do Not Download Windows 7 Via Torrent Sites

When you use these kind of programs, be forewarned that 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 a legitimate OS.

Using these types of programs or the websites visited to get them is almost a guaranteed way to get yourself infected!!
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#5 loggier

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:03 PM

When you use these kind of programs, be forewarned that 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 a legitimate OS.

Using these types of programs or the websites visited to get them is almost a guaranteed way to get yourself infected!!


Thanks for the elaborate reply. Let me ponder about it from my side. First thought that comes to mind is this: while in the US and western Europe end users tend to pay for software, the percentage of people in other countries that buy software is close to 0. I'm not talking here about business use, but about home users. It's a cultural thing, combined with somewhat tougher law enforcement for software "theft" in the west. There's a lot of propaganda involved as well. For example, its a known fact that most keygens are marked false positive by mainstream security software, since Microsoft, Adobe etc are major players, and being a popular antivirus company - you would want to play along.

Having said that, I'd really love to know YOUR OWN experience with using Windows systems (or other mainstream software like adobe) obtained from p2p.




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