Cracked Software for Free?
It has been a long time since piracy became rampant exploiting software such as operating systems, productivity tools, and entertainment programs like games that were pirated by “Pirates” through code cracking, and then redistributing them for free with some special instructions in order to access the premium software for “free”. For free, really? Cool!
But have you ever thought about the costs? This is something to ponder on. Why? Let’s take one case from Reddit for example:
Users who are aware know what to do and know where to ask questions, so they don’t fall victim to such malware, assuming that users like this are safe but not safe enough, because how and why would you simply trust non-legitimate sources to be clean right? The malware in a KMS Spico to keep Windows Operating system and Office active could be a CPU miner which uses your resources to process algorithms for the attacker or/and logs all your activities which could end up stealing your credentials.
The Price of Free
Here is one proof where a friend of mine had his Amazon AWS account compromised right after using the KMS Spico, which he suspects stole his credentials via key-logging techniques:
The picture shows how his usage ballooned to a whopping USD 705 usage within days, whereas his normal usage was almost $0 per month starting July.
Kudos to the AWS team stopping all the multiple simultaneous EC2 instances running on the account, and then immediately informing the account owner that the account could be possibly compromised which proved that it did.
My friend admitted that prior to this incident strange account sign-ins and takeovers were already observed after installing the “Crack” KMS Spico for Microsoft. His Paypal and Steam account was almost taken over. Now he learned his lesson for messing around with rogue applications.
A Call for Action
Buy legitimate software and only download a software from the official manufacturer. Rouge Applications are out there to deceive you into downloading a modified version to phish for your information. It is the sole responsibility of each individual to promote phishing prevention by avoiding pirated software which costs more than original.
For the developers of the software you might want to monitor how your applications are distributed, but with how the internet works it won’t be easy to monitor your hard-coded application. Why not have your mobile apps monitored by an expert in the industry to keep your brand monitored and let them take down any rogue apps? Not only it protects your intellectual property, it also protects your customers or users from the dark clutches of these cybercriminals.
Phishing Prevention is hard to if we ever intend to buy free software products in a non legit way. Have you ever wanted most of your licensed software for free in a non-legit way? Especially when you think it is too expensive for you to purchase? At some point in each of us, one might think that it is awesome or something to be happy about. Of course, who would not want something for free? An operating system which costs more than $200 and another $200 for office applications, how cool can that be?
But one thing is for sure that there is a saying in a video game where I heard the line “The price of freedom is steep”, come to think of it freedom in any form comes at a steep price. Let’s focus on our digital lives were back in the days the internet was less regulated and anti-cybercrime laws were not there to police cybercriminals, the one who pays the price are those who lack security awareness and often are those who only wants to enjoy the freedom.