Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CSI Redmond: How Microsoft Tracks Down Pirates

Each new iteration of Microsoft software also marks a new chapter in the ongoing cat-and-mouse game between software counterfeiters and Microsoft's own enforcement team.

Like paper currency, Microsoft employs a variety of techniques to assure customers that the software discs they're buying are valid. And rings of cybercriminals, in turn, make every attempt to defeat those safeguards.

"All of our most popular products are counterfeited," said Zoe Krumm, a senior business intelligence analyst with Microsoft. "Windows 7 was counterfeited within a month or so of us launching, with a very deceptive passoff."

In 2007, Microsoft and the FBI, in conjunction with Chinese local law enforcement, tracked down and raided a piracy organization suspected of producing $2 billion worth of counterfeit software. Microsoft recently revealed one of the techniques used by the company to prove that piracy: "fingerprints" left by CD duplicators. In an interview late last week, Microsoft offered even more details on this technique, plus others, that its team of investigators uses.

Read the full story by Mark Hachman - PC Magazine

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