Thursday, May 20, 2004

Still Using Pirated Software? Think Again...

Software piracy is all over the Philippines. Just go to a CD store and you could find a pirated cd software dealer somewhere. Although the law against piracy seems to be beefing up with more strict policies and raids here and there, they seem to be targeting more of the video and music cd piracy. Software piracy has been targeted mainly in big companies only, through the BSA with the help of the NBI.

Now most people, what they do if even they copy softwares by one way or another, downloaded from the net, copied a whole CD and if serial numbers are required to install them, people seem to know how to get around these things and still find a way to get through these registration numbers. They mainly do it by any of the following ways:

1. Search the Internet for valid serial numbers. Sometimes on the Internet this is called Serialz.

2. Look for the appropriate Keygen, sometimes called Keygenz that are key generators. The makers of these keygens are so smart (or they came from the manufacturer of the software themselves and knows the trade secret.), they figured out the algorithm behind the serial numbers and just by entering a few parameters like your name, current date, or registration number, the corresponding correct serial number is generated for you.

3. Using Cracks, also called Crackz (I do not know what is it with the letter 'z' that the piracy world seems to like.), modifies a program so that it will no longer look for serial numbers, or will no longer expire if ever that is the case like in evaluation periods of some softwares.

If ever someone decides to download the whole software package, they call this 'Warez'. And there has been Wares sites that also include the downloads of Serialz, Crackz and Keygenz, along with some banner ads leading to pornographics websites, sex and body enhancement products, online dating and online casinos.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice has announced a massive antipiracy sweep of at least 120 locations worldwide, including 80 US-Based searches in 27 states. The FBI, coordinating with law enforcement in at least 10 foreign countries, has seized computers and servers said to be holding at least $50 million worth of illegally pirated material. So if you think you are in the Philippines and is far from being caught by US Authorities, you better think twice.

The US Justice Department dubbed the operation against piracy Operation Fastlink. In this operation, agents have raided various locations in the United States, while other raids were conducted in Singapore, Israel, and European countries including Great Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, and Germany.

The operation resulted in the seizure of 200 computers, including more than "30 computer servers" that are said to have been functioning as storage and distribution hubs for pirated materials. These pirated materials include movies, music, and computer programs.

Operation Fastlink identified nearly 100 individuals worldwide who are allegedly involved in illegal online piracy. Attorney General John Ashcroft remarked after the raids that many of the individuals are leaders and/or high-level members of some of the most well-known international "warez" release groups, with names including Fairlight, Kalisto, Echelon, Class, and Project X, all of which specialize in pirating computer games.

According to the US Department of Justice, the department has increased its number of Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property, or CHIP units, from one to 13 in the last three years. This growth, the DOJ says, will undoubtedly result in many more searches and seizures in the world of international pirating syndicates.

So if you plan to download a crack somewhere, that site may be gone tomorrow. If you have a hosting server, better not place any warez, serialz, keygenz and crackz there and delete them for good. Do the same on personal web servers on broadband connections like DSL, Cable and satellite connections running IIS, PWS, Apache or any other webserver. You might be serving the world some software piracy. P2P(Peer-to-Peer) programs like the famous Kazaa are also not exempted.

If you want to be safe, buy your software or use OpenSource softwares (Check the Opensource Initiative website.)!


At 11:09 AM, Blogger Fleadis said...

i really like your site... the topics are so sensible and educational. can you put a forum section wherein we can post our own topics about computers just like in well, its just a suggestion. i hope you can squeeze some of your busy time with this. more power sir!

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Benj Arriola said...

Thanks for the compliment Fleadis. If I get more request in putting up this forum you suggest, I might give it a try. Considering the time constraints I currently have, I cannot really do this immediately, but it also would not be that hard to put up since I have been using PHPbb already for a long time. If I do decide to do this, I hope you are one of the regular posters on the forum. ;-)


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