It happens all the time. You download pirated software, get infected, join a botnet network, and then get robbed of all of your personal data. Oops. Was the free software worth it?
I think the issue of piracy is an economic one. Choosing to use software illegally shows the value the product provides is great enough to go through the trouble to get, install and configure it. If a product isn’t useful, nobody will use it—bought or pirated.
I sometimes come across torrents like “Faronics Deep Freeze Enterprise 18.104.22.16858 + Key”, or “DeepFreeze Standard 7.21.060.3447 with serial”. It gets very interesting when we compare the torrents with the real deal our customers buy.
Comparing MD5 or SHA1 hashes, they don’t match. Plus the file sizes are a lot different. Looks like whoever shared the torrent added a little surprise to the package. When we dig deeper (don’t try this at home), we see that the extra files contain spyware.
This spyware gets installed to your system before the pirated version of Deep Freeze does. Once the spyware is on your system, the Torrent Samaritan freezes your machine so it stays protected. Beware of Torrent Greeks bearing gifts—those are actual Trojans! If you cherish your computer and physical security, stay away from those torrents.
Some companies use hardcore licensing schemes that “call home” or validate keys to block their software’s use without a serial. This might deter piracy, but it comes with a price—at the cost of loyal and compliant customers.
If you see great value in our products but can’t afford them, let us know. We’ll figure something out. We would much rather see you use Deep Freeze legally and promote it everywhere, than be infested with malware and spyware.