Microsoft Launches Play It Safe Campaign

Microsoft, during its launch of the Play It Safe Campaign has released a joint study by IDC and National University of Singapore of the prevalence of malware in pirated software and in new PCs purchased through traditional PC sellers. The study furthermore discusses the link between malwares and cyber-security breaches.

The study includes forensic analysis on 203 computers purchased in 11 countries and surveys from 1,700 consumers, workers, CIOs and IT professionals as well as government officials in 15 countries.


Below are some highlights from the study:

  • Of the 203 computers purchased with pirated software on them, 61% were infected with dangerous malware
  • More than 100 discrete threats were found including Win32/Sality.AT and Win32/Pramro.F. Win32/Sality.AT virus disables security software and update and some Windows utilities from running. It also tries to download other files/malware from remote server. Win32/Pramro.F on the other hand creates a proxy server and relay spam email and web traffic on the infected computer.
  • 65% or consumers and 30% of enterprise customers buy from suspect sources (not name brand vendors or retail chains)
  • Enterprises will spend $127 B in dealing with security issues as a result of malware associated with pirated software.
  • Enterprises will spend an additional $364 B dealing with data breaches that occur because of malware associated with pirated software.
  • 27% of employees installed their own software on work PCs, resulting in almost 20% of the pirated software in enterprise.
  • Consumers will spend $25 B and waste 1.1B hours in 2014 dealing with security issues created by malware on pirated software
  • 43% of consumers don’t routinely install security updates on their computers
  • Biggest fears among consumer respondents were loss of data or personal information (60) and unauthorized access or online fraud (51%).
  • The biggest fears of government officials polled were loss of business trade (59%), unwanted access to government information (55%), or cyberattacks on critical infrastructure (55%)

To view the full IDC study, check out the link below:

The Link between Pirated Software and Cybersecurity Breaches

To learn more about malware and its detection and removal, visit Microsoft’s HowToTell website 

Visit Play It Safe website and Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit Newsroom for more articles on software piracy, malware, cybersecurity and cybercrime.


For more technology news and gadget reviews, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram