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Crime Botnet Software Your Rights Online

Software Theft a Problem For Actual Thieves, Too 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-sure-it's-ubisoft's-fault-somehow dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Pity the criminal mastermind. After all, he's a victim too, reports FoxNews.com. Despite the sophisticated DRM baked into the ZeuS bot to protect it from theft, that's exactly what has happened. 'ZeuS is actually being pirated, so you can get all the versions for free,' said Roel Schouwenberg, senior anti-virus researcher with security software firm Kaspersky Labs. 'They introduced a hardware-based activation process similar to Windows activation, to make sure only one purchased copy of the ZeuS kit — the kit that produces malware — can run on one computer,' said Sergei Shevchenko, senior malware analyst for security software company PC Tools."
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Software Theft a Problem For Actual Thieves, Too

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  • by drolli (522659) on Sunday October 03, 2010 @05:33AM (#33775412) Journal

    Just provide it as a service and pay per use, then the software does not need to be transferred. On the other hand - i am not sure the other criminals would trust the website. After all if they promise the are 100%malware-free, its exactly not what they want. If the promise is not given, the i would assume they have backdoor in the backdoor.

    I think a special Version of Anti-Virus software is needed.....

  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily.gmail@com> on Sunday October 03, 2010 @05:37AM (#33775418)

    but have you ever actually been to Eastern Europe?

    You mean the countries where tax evasion is a national sport, the people don't even realize they should pay for software, and when you tell them, they know you're joking?

    I personally have not seen *anyone* who paid for any version of Windows unless their company got hit with an extensive tax audit. I'm from Hungary.

  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 03, 2010 @06:13AM (#33775514)

    but have you ever actually been to Eastern Europe?

    You mean the countries where tax evasion is a national sport, the people don't even realize they should pay for software, and when you tell them, they know you're joking?

    I personally have not seen *anyone* who paid for any version of Windows unless their company got hit with an extensive tax audit. I'm from Hungary.

    I'm from Hungary too and I pay for Windows every time I buy a pre-built PC. (Which is the majority of purchases.)

    I also implicitly pay for Windows every time I pay taxes (and I do, not the least because there's a significant VAT on all consumption) because the government site-licenses Windows for all educational institutions and all government computers - for a lot of money. Windows license fees are slowly but surely becoming part of the tax system in more and more parts of the world.

    Private persons indeed generally don't buy Windows here (as copying software without reselling it for financial gain is not against the law in Hungary), and Microsoft is part of that too: the BSA reassures hungarian citizens every year that they will not audit private persons (they cannot by law). Most of the businesses where I worked did buy Windows.

    The revenue numbers of Microsoft Hungary seem to support this.

    Furthermore, because Microsoft turns a blind eye to piracy here they have encroached Windows to a large degree - giving other software like Linux little chance to spread. The well-known "Microsoft is better off if people pirate Windows instead of using Linux" concept.

    Later on, once the country has a higher GDP and the legal environment has been manipulated more in Microsoft's favor they will tighten the finger-screw a bit more, and start auditing private persons as well.

    Until then all Microsoft needs is a continued monopoly of Windows: that alone is hugely profitable to them already and they have all the time of the world to extract more profits from it.

    And that is why Microsoft is worried sh*t-less about Android. Android is a completely Windows-less ecosystem that is spreading like wildfire along a very unexpected vector: mobile phones and phone carriers - which for decades used to be the most backwards technology sector of all. Android is spreading like mad in Hungary too. Usability and growth of Android puts anything that Redmond has produced in the last 30 years in shade. It's also a self-sustaining model without a licensing fee - so it's turning Microsoft's business model upside down.

    So far the best "competitive" idea Microsoft has come up with is "sue the heck out of Android, directly or by proxy". As parasitic as ever ...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 03, 2010 @06:41AM (#33775582)

    Isn't this the BEST way to fight this? Rather than try to track down and close the ones making money from malware by putting them in jail (expensive on the public purse), instead take the money out of making malware.

    And if it still doesn't kill all malware, then this would also prove the lie about how copyright is necessary or things won't be made any more.

  • by Dachannien (617929) on Sunday October 03, 2010 @07:08AM (#33775658)

    Yes, the headline doesn't really match the story. They're talking about two groups of people:

    1. Actual thieves, such as the ones who used ZeuS to steal money from various bank accounts in the US and other countries and launder that money back to Eastern Europe (and were recently arrested in a worldwide roundup). Some (maybe most or all) of these people, clearly lacking moral scruples, are also pirating the ZeuS software.

    2. The authors of ZeuS, who would like to get paid for their work. (It's unclear whether these folks also use ZeuS themselves to steal money or engage in other nefarious activities, or if they're just software developers.)

    So (the obvious problem with the term "software theft" aside), the headline should read, "Software Theft a Problem with Actual Thieves, Too".

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Sunday October 03, 2010 @07:39AM (#33775744)
    Since we're talking about software that is already outside the law, it's reasonable to assume that the punishments or retribution that the illegal software makers can build in to "protect" their code could also be outside the bounds of acceptability. So while "legal" DRM measures can't do much beyond saying "you're being naughty, please stop" the illegal copies of illegal software could give themselves licence to wreak havoc on the machine that's attempting to run them. Just how far they'd be prepared to go (causing the hardware to catch fire? is that practical?) could be an interesting development for the uninvolved onlooker to track.
  • by kikito (971480) on Sunday October 03, 2010 @07:50AM (#33775760) Homepage

    The Zeus devs are not 'thieves' because they made Zeus.

    It's a different type of crime.

    It's like saying that a company that builds a popular and illegal anti-person mines has had its mine blueprints stolen.

    A more proper title would have been "DRM doesn't work, even for Cibercriminals".

  • by alexhs (877055) on Sunday October 03, 2010 @10:09AM (#33776272) Homepage Journal

    Next month or so we will get a headline of "Thief thief Thief thief thief thief Thief thief" [wikipedia.org], and none of these words will be about actual theft of tangible property.

    [Actual thieves] compare [developing malware kits] to Kalashnikov gun manufacturing ('we make the weapon, it’s not up to us how it’s used')

    And therefore gun manufacturers are also actual serial killers.

  • Re:Yeah, right (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Sunday October 03, 2010 @02:33PM (#33777810) Homepage

    Android on a phone is useless without paying the relatively huge licensing fee to Google for the Google applications and access to the Google application store.

    So there is a large license fee being paid for every copy of Android. Sure, you can go without the apps and the store but then it isn't really Android, now is it?

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead