SOFTWARE GIANT Microsoft is claiming that PCs in countries with high rates of software 'piracy' are more likely to be infected by malicious code because users don't install security patches.
Jeff Williams, the principal group program manager for the Microsoft Malware Protection Center claims there is a link between use of illegally copied software and malware infection rates.
He argues that since software 'pirates' don't get security updates because Windows Update might reveal their dodgy setups, they are getting crucified with malware.
He said that China's software 'piracy' rate is more than four times that of the US and the use of Windows Update in China is significantly below that in the US.
This also applies to Brazil and France, which also have a higher 'piracy' rate and lower Windows Update usage, he said.
However looking at the figures it appears that they do not back up Microsoft's claim. If it were true you'd expect that no computers in China, Brazil or France would work because they'd be chock full of malware, while those in the glorious US would be malware free.
In fact it appears to be the other way around. France's infection rate of 7.9 PCs per 1,000 in the first half of 2009 was under the worldwide average of 8.7 PCs per 1,000. China also has a low rate of malware infections with 6.7 PCs per 1,000. Both countries have relatively high percentages of PCs loaded with dodgy software.
Of the countries he mentioned, only Brazil seems to fit the Vole's argument. Brazil's malware infection rate was 25.4 PCs per 1,000, nearly three times the global average.
Serbia and Montenegro had the highest infection rates in the world, with 97.2 PCs out of every 1,000 afflicted with malware, but then there are also high populations of illegally copied software there too. µ
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