|Pirate Windows XP drive malware
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Microsoft today (4th November 2009) said computers in countries with high rates of software piracy are more likely to be infected by malicious code because users are leery of applying security patches.
"There is a direct correlation between piracy and the malware infection rate," said Jeff Williams, the principal group program manager for the Microsoft Malware Protection Center. Williams was touting the newest edition of his company's biannual security intelligence report.
According to Williams, the link between PC infection rates -- the percentage of computers that have been cleaned by the updated monthly Malicious Software Removal Tool, or MSRT -- and piracy is due to the hesitancy of users in countries where counterfeit copies* abound to use Windows Update, the service that pushes patches to PCs.
*Counterfeit Windows copies (see image below) normally only apply to Windows XP Professional, not the Home version. Therefore the WGA notification problem only occurs when users have an illegal Windows XP Professional version.
China's piracy rate is more than four times that of the U.S., according to Microsoft's report, published today, but the use of Windows Update in China is significantly below that in the U.S.
Brazil and France also have a higher piracy rate, and lower Windows Update usage, than the U.S., Microsoft maintained.
But the company's own data doesn't always support William's contention that piracy, and the hesitancy to use Windows Update, leads to more infected PCs. China, for example, boasted a malware infection rate -- as defined by the number of computers cleaned for each 1,000 executions of the MSRT -- of just 6.7, significantly lower than the global average of 8.7 or the U.S.'s rate of 8.2 per thousand.
For those of you who are unable to update your Windows XP Professional here is what you can do:
You can safely remove the Windows XP Professional nag screens and notification windows by visiting our blog.
Click here. You can then update your genuine Windows version.
Note: If you click on the link above and follow our fix, you must only use the fix if you have a genuine version of Windows XP Professional and are experiencing 'WGA' notification problems. Update: If you remove the WGA notifications problem you can now download Microsoft Security updates. If you do have the WGA notification problem we strongly suggest you contact Microsoft directly.
Source: ID Theft Protect /itbusiness.ca
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