by Peter Daley
I have done numerous tutorials over the year in the club pointing out that using a key generator, or a software crack to make illegal use of software is just plain stupid. Firstly a person using these illegal tools are leaving themselves open to legal action. There is no doubt they are breaking the law. Secondly key generators and software cracks are almost always infected with malware of some sort. etc., a virus, or rootkit. Rootkits are so stealthy that they can't be detected by most anti-virus programs.
This sort of malicious software can place keyboard loggers onto a computer, and record all the persons user names and passwords for banking, email, social networking sites and ISP accounts. These malicious tools can also be used to pinch confidential information that is stored on the computer.
If anyone has encouraged a person to use one of these tools they have done them a great disfavour. If a person is using a computer for financial transactions of any kind and have used one of these tools they are taking a big risk. I would suggest they back up all their important files and re-install their operating system. After they have done this secure the new installation with a good firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware program.
I would suggest they change all their banking account and log in account passwords etc. If you are going to the trouble to create a new password make sure it is actually going to protect you. Read my article, on how to create good secure password.
The Windows Operating system can only be used on the computer it was purchased with, and can't be install on any other computer. If you have a legal version of Windows installed on your computer you can constantly update it with the latest security patches. This means that legal patched versions of Windows are far more secure than a cracked illegal version. A pirated version of Windows is far more likely to have a virus, spyware or rootkit on it immediately upon installation, plus it can't be updated.
This is one of the reason so many machines were compromised by the Downup virus. These Windows machines did not have the latest Windows patches on them. One because people did not install Windows updates regularly or they were using an illegal version. They probably have seen themselves as being smart using the illegal version to save themselves a couple of hundred dollars, but if they are doing any logging into financial sites, or have important information on the computer the bad guys probably have recorded it.
If the commercial software does the job better than anything else, buy it, or alternatively look for a free legal software program that can do the job. There is just so much free legal software available that can do just about any job you could possibly need.
© Peter Daley 2009
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