back to article Software cracking tools open the door to malware

Some of the most prevalent "hacking tools" are those which users unwittingly install themselves, according to stats from anti-virus firm Trend Micro. Trend Micro warns that, for example, key generator programs designed to unlawfully activate Nero CD burning software from a trial mode into a paid mode are often packaged with a …


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  1. Nick L
    Thumb Down

    Old news, and slightly unfair...

    This is news? Software that generates a keygen may be infected with malware? Colour me shocked!

    I think the inclusion of Magical Jellybean in that list is exceptionally unfair - it has a very useful legitimate reason for existence. It also claims to be spyware, adware, malware and virus free, and I'd have thought enough people are looking closely at it to make sure it is.

  2. John Carter

    Another reason to use Linux

    Yet another reason to use Linux: free CD recording tools.

  3. Shinobi87

    @ john carter


    For gods sake! look linux IS NOT for everyone you know it, i know it the whole world knows it or they would be on linux. it has it uses but its not going to repace windows, at least not for the forseable future....................


  4. Andrew Barratt
    Thumb Up

    no problems with GnomeBaker....

    Oh is that coz I don't have to generatate / pay for a key for my open source tools....

  5. A J Stiles

    How is this news?

    How is this news?

    You didn't want to pay for your software, so you searched for a "crack". You didn't stop to think for a moment that that "crack" might do something beside open up the functionality of the software?

    I've no sympathy for you.

    Particularly not when there's already software available that you *don't* have to pay for; and if you're really bothered, you can look inside it and make sure that CD-burning is really *all* it's doing.

    Either listen to the shills like Shinobi87 and *pay* for your closed-source software, or make the effort to learn to use Open Source. But don't fall into the trap of thinking that just because you think you're smart enough to cheat the makers of Nero or whatever, there isn't somebody else out there who is smart enough to cheat *you*.

  6. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Simple fix !

    Simple fix , given the price of PC's and cheap second hand lap tops why not have one that is never connected to the Internet and all critical information is fully encrypted complete with fingerprint access ID !

    Use the cheap unit to browse the net and plan to re image the harddrive from a secure back source every three months or so , thus end of problem !

  7. Walter Brown

    i'm with Nick L

    First off, if you choose to seek out and use alternate means of product activation, you have to know, there are going to be risks...

    If youre retarded enough to visit any kind of warez, crackz or serialz website, you deserve what you get! if you installed anything from these webites, that goes double!

    every remotely competent would be software pirate knows, use virtual machines to run your keygens on, that way if it gets infected, no biggie, delete it and drop in a copy from your backup image...

    Its an unfortunate reality, especially for the magical jellybean. i called Trend Micro on this subject, probably, 6 months ago. i was not a happy camper that this nice little gem kept getting nix'd by the AV server. Trends explanation to me was, Though the developers of magical jellybean key finder develop and release a safe and clean product, the product is freeware, it openly distributed from countless freeware sites and download servers. often times legit, trusted software is infected with malware by 3rd party download sites, most of whom claim to be 100% virus and spyware free.

    Trend continued, saying, the number of infected jellybeans in circulation is 5 to 1 over non-toxic jellybeans. and so, the jellybean gets the axe...

  8. JC
    Paris Hilton


    Since browsing the net or other 'net connected activites are one of the primary uses of a windows system, you're proposing someone buy the (non-cheap) system so they can install software that needs cracked, then mostly use the other system instead.

    How does that make sense? It is wrong on so many levels. Maybe a better solution is never install this junk on any system that needs to be used for important work or financial transactions, nor network it to the system serving up it's own little bot-party, or even better, instead of two systems get one mediocre system and use the $avings to buy the software whose functionality can't be resolved with freeware.

    Or just say screw it, if you're running windows you didn't have control of your PC anyway.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another simple fix

    Similar in a way to heystoopid's suggestion; a 'dirty' machine is a great thing to run untrusted code on. It's never used for anything else, and gets reimaged after each use. Great for keygens and the like, not so hot for cracks that modify an installed application.

    Of course running Linux is a good fix too. I still use the untrusted machine concept but it's for the public-facing webserver, tor proxy and anything else that needs to face the internet and is therefore a little risky compared to what I use my other machines for.

    And @shinobi87: actually I see no reason, other than supporting existing software that people may need to run, why open source operating systems are not suitable for everyone. It's not just Linux after all - *BSD or OpenSolaris spring immediately to mind.

    I suspect you think linux is too hard for some people, probably including yourself; otherwise why rant about it?

  10. Shinobi87

    @A J Stiles

    when did i say anything about having to pay for stuff, there are FREE tools on the windows platform, all im getting at is anytime theres a something like this theres a flood of "use linux/unix/mac they am best1111!" and its irritating because they really arnt for everyone, and @ Anonymous Coward i think you debunked your own point there "actually I see no reason, other than supporting existing software that people may need to run,"

    hell dont get me wrong im not a ms bummer im inpartiall and i have personally used macs,linux/unix based systems and windows. but as you said supporting exisitng software. if the supports not there for the general public and they find it hard to learn, and some of their gadgets and software doesnt work they arnt going to adopt it regardless of weather or not theres a free version of some software thats similar, it means they'd have to relearn it. how many average joes are prepared to do that. how many companies are prepared to go fully to an opensource system. not many.

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