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.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
This state transportation department uses computer science students from a local university as programming interns, and everyone is happy with the arrangement -- until one intern learns how to bring down the mainframe.
- 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.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits
- This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage
- Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About
- As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance
- If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big... All Government IT White Papers
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control.
Enhance Your Virtualization Infrastructure With IBM and Vmware
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Virtualization technology is now expanding beyond the server compute elements to encompass networking and storage...
Transforming Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain Effectiveness with Cross-Functional Analytics
Date: May 6th, 2014
Time: 1 PM EDT
Attend this Webcast to find out how Oracle's packaged analytic applications enable line-of-business managers to examine all...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- All Government IT Webcasts