Increasing Piracy to Cause Rise in Cyber Crime article on DarkReading prompts me to grant the Security For All “Merry-Go-Round” award to Metaforic‘s CEO Andrew McLennan for most ergregious and creative spin to promote a product or service.
“Piracy is a persistent problem which continues to cost software vendors worldwide billions of pounds in lost revenue, as well as harming local resellers and putting a strain on research and development in the technology industry,” comments Metaforic’s CEO Andrew McLennan. “More worryingly, hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods of attack. The issue of hacked software and compromised websites goes far beyond that of piracy and standard copyright infringements. It can – and has – led to an explosion in the number of cyber crimes, including the exploitation of personal data, delivering malicious payloads to user machines, the installation of spyware and even taking over a PC as part of a botnet for hosting illegal content, often unbeknown to the owner.”
Hold on! Stop the software presses! You mean that all we have to do is implement one of those annoying little soft key dongles on our software products and we can help prevent our PCs from becoming zombies in botnets? Not only that, but it would be a boon to the folks who manufacture USB hubs since we would need to plug those dongles in somewhere. I’m getting dizzy just thinking about it.
Seriously, I doubt that Mr. McLennan is suggesting that software publishers not implementing “Anti-tamper” technology is a main contributor to cyber-crime, or that all software should be using it (although he might fervently wish for it). But to suggest that software piracy and copyright infringement leads to any cyber-crime (other than software piracy itself being a cyber-crime) – much less an “explosion in the number of cyber crimes” is, well, just spin. Really wicked spin, but balderdash. Hogwash. Crapola.
I mean, I can definitely see where inferior knockoff, “pirated” hardware like fake Cisco equipment poses a real threat, but pirated software? Certainly large software manufacturers lose money due to piracy of their products, but “billions of pounds”? This sounds like the same kind of whining and creative valuation that the RIAA does for pirated music. The consumer (not the professional pirate organizations in China) who pirates copyright protected content would not have purchased it if they had to pay for it. So how can that be revenue lost? Charge these guys penalties for copyright violation when they get caught – sure. Or when they post copyrighted content to a torrent site – absolutely. But how, exactly does “Anti-tamper” technology prevent any of this – much less mitigate any cyber-crime threat? I could go on to actually question the value of “Anti-tamper” technology period. But I won’t. I’ve been plenty snarky already.
Beside I’m just too dizzy.