back to article Researchers reckon 500k PCs infested with malware after dodgy downloads install even more nasties from Bitbucket

We don't know who needs to hear this, but don't download cracked commercial software. Researchers claim more than 500,000 PCs have been left wriggling with malware after a cracked app went on to retrieve further nasties from Bitbucket repos. Security company Cybereason has studied a campaign to deliver "an arsenal of malware" …

  1. chivo243 Silver badge
    Pint

    heheheh tag line!

    LOL great writing! Who comes up with these??

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Bad headline and lede

      Besides not being very funny, the headline should read "Security software vendor reckon 500k (out of 2b) PCs . . .".

      Tim Anderson "[doesn't] know who needs to hear this" and neither do I. It's a scare mongering press release, not news.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "downloading a cracked version of commercial software like Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, and others"

    GIMP and Libreoffice, good enough.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I completely agree however I would rather say is that "photoshopped" rather than "gimped"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        People google with Bing (I've heard), vacuum their homes with a Dyson hoover, wipe their nose with store-brand kleenex, and I for one have indeed been known to photoshop images with Gimp.

        Gotta love/hate trademark genericisation!

        1. TRT Silver badge

          You mean they hoover with a Dyson?

          I've heard that in Australia they even sellotape things with durex.

          1. MiguelC Silver badge
            Coat

            Sellotape with Durex? Shouldn't be hard!

            1. TRT Silver badge
          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >I've heard that in Australia they even sellotape things with durex.

            When the needs takes anything to hand will do, bacofoil could be a challenge but I believe it's favoured by those worried about phone masts.

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Not sure of the downvotes as Gimp and Libreoffice are very good alternatives.

      Yes it doesn't do everything, but if I need those features at home then I will pay for it.

  3. Andy Non Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Instant karma

    I've little sympathy for folks downloading these illegal copies; besides as someone else mentioned, there are alternatives like Gimp and Libreoffice available free of charge and free of malware.

    It's the electronic equivalent of searching through trash cans to find a fly covered burger and eating it. Tasty - got it for free.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Instant karma

      I agree however as a side note have you considered how education providers work? I know someone struggling at Uni on a internal graphics design course who has to pay £16 (8 because she splits it with her friend) a month to Adobe while working a minimum wage job. Now I agree there are alternatives but when you have limited time to learn how to use these tools and your course provider uses these expensive tools is it any wonder some people resort to piracy? You also have to question the cheap licences they give these institutions to get more business from the students and then their eventual employers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Instant karma

        "You also have to question the cheap licences they give these institutions to get more business from the students and then their eventual employers."

        You'll be pleased to hear that Adobe are significantly increasing the cost of licences for higher-education establishments. As a result, some are re-evaluating the software used in the course ...

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Instant karma

          It gets worse when you're in research. The go-to toolbox for assembling figures for publications and lectures, used once in a blue moon, but which you buy monthly - 12 months at a time. Hey, we're not making money using these tools you know.

          EVERYONE wants Photoshop and Illustrator to make their figures though.

          Not any more, matey, not any more.

          1. NATTtrash Silver badge

            Re: Instant karma

            It gets worse when you're in research.

            Oh, I can top that easily...

            Ever turned up at any kind of congress, gathering, what ever, with an odp in stead of a ppt(x)?

      2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

        Re: Instant karma

        Serif Affinity software:

        https://www.serif.com/en-us/

        1. 's water music Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Instant karma

          Serif Affinity software:

          Looks nice, anyone got any links to cracks for this?

        2. localgeek

          Re: Instant karma

          Great program. I use it (legally) as a Photoshop replacement. It also has the added advantage of not being rental software. Buy it once and own it.

        3. Halfmad Silver badge

          Re: Instant karma

          or photoshop elements if you want something more like actual photoshop but without much of the stuff you never used anyway.

          Affinity looks like it does more than elements though, good spot.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Instant karma

      There are numerous more reasonably priced (or free) options if you do not want to use Gimp or Libreoffice for example.

      I suspect most of the people using cracked commercial software refuse to research what is actually available, how much it costs, and whether it fulfill their needs. Basically being stupid. Joe Christina, a photographer on YouTube, is doing a 'Life after Adobe' series where he looks at various options to replace Adobe on various platforms. It turns out there is quite a number of excellent options at various price points available. So for any supposed 'default' software there often exists a number of options to replace it. The only question is what fits the user best.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Instant karma

      Ew. That's a disgusting comparison. I prefer GIMP to Photoshop.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Instant karma

        To be fair you can search the web for a crossover but I wouldn't recommend it.

  4. steven_t
    Big Brother

    exfiltrating so many different types of data

    Just a thought... did they check whether the malware-ridden versions exfiltrate more data than the genuine products, or less?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: exfiltrating so many different types of data

      I love a good snark. I like the cut of your jib sir.

    2. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: exfiltrating so many different types of data

      I was thinking the same thing. Install genuine versions and you'll still find your bank account steadily drained and all your data slurped...

  5. John Lilburne

    Decades ago everyone had to have the top-range WP to write letters to their mother, the top range spreadsheet to reconcile their bank account, or to work out the cost per gallon of petrol. The top range relational database to catalogue their record collection, top range DTP to do a church flier, and so it went. All pirated, and eventually we ended up with MS Office and nothing else.

    O there was OpenOffice but no one could use it for real commercial work. Most of us need not of it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legal issues?

    Call: Cracked, Whacked and Hacked solicitors on 1800-YOUHAVEBEENPWNED

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