A recent white paper released by the International Data Corporation (IDC) on behalf of Microsoft revealed that roughly 33 percent of all software is counterfeit. The paper further highlights the fact that issues related to counterfeit software like identity theft, repair and data recovery cost $22 billion worldwide.
Enterprises dealing with counterfeit software are projected to spend $114 billion this year and if that weren’t enough, consumers will waste 1.5 billion hours fooling with it.
One of the main concerns with counterfeit software is that a large portion of it – 78 percent to be exact – contains some type of spyware or malware. A survey that was part of the report found that people visiting websites to locate stolen activation keys were about 36 percent more likely to get a Trojan or adware infection while nearly 50 percent of respondents said they had to uninstall pirated software due to it impacting the system’s performance.
48 percent of those polled said they worried about data loss the most when dealing with pirated software while 29 percent were most concerned with identity theft. Only two percent were not worried at all. More alarming, however, is that that 46 percent of people said they didn’t bother to keep their software up to date.
The 29-page report includes data from 1,104 consumers, 973 business users and 268 CIO / IT managers across 10 countries. The full document is available for viewing online via PDF format if you’re interested in digging deeper.