IDG News Service - Pirated copies of Windows 7 have hit the shelves at China's electronics bazaars, months before the operating system officially goes on sale.
A stall owner at one of the multistory PC markets in Beijing sold a copy of the program for 40 yuan (US$5.86) on Monday. It was not clear from the thin, DVD-shaped box or the contents of the disc what version of Windows 7 it purported to carry, but a 1.8GB file named Win7.gho was on the disc. A .gho file is an image of a system that can be copied onto a new hard drive, potentially letting a user bypass the activation key step for programs like Windows.
Both legal and cracked copies of Windows 7 were already available online. A release candidate version of the operating system is publicly available, and subscribers to the Microsoft Developer Network can download the RTM (release to manufacturing) version on the network's Web site.
A cracked version of Windows 7 has also appeared online in recent weeks. An image file containing Windows 7 Ultimate RTM and a manufacturer product key was stolen from Lenovo and placed on a Chinese hacker forum, the company said in a statement.
A user can purportedly pair the leaked key with a certain hack to install and use the operating system, Microsoft said in an MSDN blog entry. But Microsoft said it is working with Lenovo to make sure no PCs using the pirated manufacturer key are sold, and Lenovo said the key would be disabled. Windows 7 will go on sale Oct. 22.
Pirated software from Microsoft and other companies is widely used in homes and offices across China, and it is often sold in stores or on streets.
The vendor at the Beijing bazaar said she said had sold pirated copies of Windows 7 for more than a month and had a dozen buyers on some days. She kept the program discs in a low cabinet that she opened only when asked specifically for the OS.
It was not clear if the pirated Windows 7 disc carried malicious code, but its setup file promoted a Web site, www.pkghost.cn, infested with a high level of malware. Google found 31 scripting exploits, 25 Trojans and 21 other exploits on the site, according to its diagnostic page.
Malware may have been on the disc as well. Pirated software packages sold in China often include malware used to steal personal information from users, said Vu Nguyen, a McAfee Avert Labs researcher. One common type of Trojan steals passwords for popular online games, he said. Attackers can then profit by selling virtual items in the game accounts.
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- Software Asset Management: Ensuring Today's Assets
- Today's trends like BYOD and SaaS are new and exciting in terms of how they will help make our jobs more productive but...
- Trends Shaping Software Management: 2014
- Most IT executives recognize the relationship between mobile computing and worker productivity, and have long issued notebook computers and other mobile devices to...
- Software Asset Management: Pay Attention or Pay Up
- There is a wide range of options for managing software assets, from in-house solutions to the cloud to managed services providers. Read this...
- Are You Prepared for a Software Audit?
- Just the word "audit" is enough to make anyone shiver, and when it comes to a software audit, the reaction is no different.... All Government IT White Papers
- IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- Leveraging Flash Storage to Accelerate Oracle Real Application Clusters Join this webinar to understand the latest solid-state storage trends, the specific applications driving solid-state storage deployments and the benefits of deploying the...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- It's not too late...Get Your Mobile Questions Answered Live! How can IT provide seamless and secure mobile communications and collaboration for all? Join this live Webcast as IDG asks an expert panel...
- Why do you need an enterprise mobile platform? Today companies must offer great apps that run on a range of devices, and connect to an exploding set of backend data. Appcelerator...
- All Government IT Webcasts