Windows 7 RC torrent files infected with trojan

Wow that was fast, though I don't suppose I should be surprised. Earlier this evening I visited the blog of a colleague of mine and saw in a post of his (thanks M3!) that leaked Windows 7 RC files that were obtained through bittorrent have been found to have been infected with a trojan. I say that I shouldn't be surprised because in research we supported a couple off years ago we discovered that the typical methods that someone would use to find and obtain unlicensed software (much of it over bittorrent) exposed users to significant risk from trojans and other malware.

Not that I have anything against bittorrent. In fact I invited Bram Cohen, creator of Bittorrent and it's protocol, out to Microsoft a few years ago to have an informal conversation about the relationship of the Internet and technology such as Bittorrent to software piracy. As I recall it was a good conversation and I certainly respect him and the technology as innovative and powerful.

I do hope that no one has had any problems as a result of the infected files. This example unfortunately shows that there are those out there who see the significant interest in something such as Windows 7 as an opportunity to try to take advantage of others. In the end this is the same motivation as those who create and sell counterfeit software, to fool users or customers for the purpose of taking advantage of them. When getting something that is free or should be paid for it really is best to go to the source or through authorized distribution to avoid the risks of this kind of thing.

Comments (5)

  1. jtenos says:

    Quoting: I do hope that no one has had any problems as a result of the infected files.

    I’d have to disagree.  Anyone who uses illegal unlicensed software that Microsoft has worked for years building deserves their fate.  I do hope the damage is limited to the people who illegally used the software, and not spread to innocent people – as long as that’s the case, I hope the dirtbags were significantly inconvenienced.

    There’s simply no excuse for it.  Using unlicensed operating systems is major theft.  The way I see it, it’s no different than the exploding ink put in cash given to bank robbers.  They are stealing from you, so make the thing that they’re stealing blow up in their face making the object unusable.  Only in this case, it’s not Microsoft defending themselves, but a third party.  This is one of the few times where I’m on the attacker’s side.

  2. derekmartin says:

    I agree with jtenos that they deserve their fate, however, I wish to point out one thing – BitTorrent is a great distribution mechanism and MS should have learned by now that serving out ISOs the way it does puts far too much strain on its own servers causing frustration for everyone.  If MS had approved ISO downloads using the BitTorrent system (the MS Tracker if you will!), we could all benefit from your software faster and with far few headaches!

  3. astron says:

    Not officially providing Torrents for political reasons, like, for instance, when Microsoft feels that somehow Torrents are too much associated “piracy,” is idiocy. I just lost 1.2 GB of downloaded data when my computer went in to hibernation — which is great, since now I will have to download all that again. That would never have happened with a Torrent. By the way, is there a recommendable not-infected torrent?

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