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Pirated software

Pirated software

(also software piracy)

Pirated software definition

Pirated software is unauthorized software that entities copy and distribute without permission from the copyright holder. Several types of pirated software exist, including counterfeit software, cracked software, and “softlifted” software.

See also: trojan, authentication server

Risks and dangers of using pirated software

  • It is illegal, leading to fines, lawsuits, or criminal charges.
  • It often contains malware, viruses, or other malicious code.
  • Pirated software often lacks official updates or patches.
  • It increases the risk of data loss.
  • Pirated software often doesn’t function as well as the original, legitimate version.
  • It may have altered or disabled security features.
  • It can lead to loss of warranty and technical support.
  • Organizations using pirated software can suffer reputational damage.

Preventing software piracy

  • Learn the inherent risks of using pirated software and educate those around you or members of your organization.
  • Always purchase software from reputable vendors.
  • License the software and adhere to the given terms and conditions.
  • Monitor and manage the software used within the organization to ensure it’s up-to-date and compliant with the licensing terms.
  • Use anti-piracy technologies and software activation mechanisms to protect against unauthorized access, copying, and distribution.
  • Perform regular audits to ensure your organization uses only authorized and properly licensed software.
  • Always report pirated software use.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security