One Pirated Software Licence Used 775,000 Times In 200 Countries

Just how big a deal is software piracy? When security company Avast noticed that one of its paid-for licenses was being distributed illicitly online, they decided to track it. A year and a half later, the downloads approached one million.

The licence was first purchased by a 14-user firm in Arizona, according to PC Pro. From there, it landed on enough file sharing sites to top out at 774,651 users, spread over 200 countries. According to Avast, two of the computers that installed the program were in Vatican City.

The plug's been pulled, though; Avast has started putting pop-up notices on machines with the illegally downloaded application that link to the free and paid versions. There have apparently been "some conversions", but the real value may come from the publicity the story's generating with posts like this one.

I just enjoy that the pirates went after a product called "Avast!" because of course they did. [PC Pro via Geekosystem]


    I use the free version of Avast! and don't need it to do any more than it does. I would have thought the number of people using an illegal full version would be small compared to numbers of people using software that doesn't have such a capable free version. It would be interesting to see a the numbers for other software. It would be especially interesting to look at the illegal distribution of enough different software to be able to compare the number of downloads of software that does offer capable free or budget versions with software that doesn't.

    Avast me hearties!

      Avast means "stop/cease"

    I just can never get over people pirating security software. Wouldn't pirated copies be prime targets for also carrying dangerous payloads that they've been coded/configured to ignore, thus instead of providing a secure system actually leaves a users system in a worse state, but thinking they are secure?

    But then I suppose, even those with clean security software seem to trust explicitly that the crack for the latest game is a false positive rather than entertain the possibility of it being a threat, when their virus scanner goes off.

      generally no because if it release through something like the scene enough people download it that the links that may have virus's are kicked out.

      and the torrent kinda means your all downloading the same original file, so if the original is uncorrupted the rest should be sweet

    I still have my copy of Avast! set to Pirate talk from Talk like a pirate day a few months ago. I don't scan for viri, I scour the ship for seadogs.

    That still from that terrible Johnny Depp movie reminds me of that Evangelion logo, the one for NERV or Seele or something, with the (5?) eyes.

    Probably not a ripoff though, as anyone who had seen Evangelion would never have made/been involved in anything as terrible as the above movie.

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