Published: Friday March 8, 2013 MYT 3:28:00 PM
Updated: Friday March 8, 2013 MYT 3:36:24 PM

Asia-Pacific businesses suffer RM400b in costs due to software piracy

PETALING JAYA: Asia-Pacific businesses suffer the most from software piracy to the tune of over RM400 billion in predicted costs, according to International Data Corporation (IDC) that revealed the findings of a new global study commissioned by Microsoft Corp.

It said that the chances of infection by unexpected malware are one in three for consumers and three in 10 for businesses.

“The cost of dealing with the impact of malware-induced cyber-attacks for enterprises is predicted to be RM354 billion (US$114 billion) globally in 2013, while in Asia Pacific, the study forecasts spending will reach RM121 billion (US$39 billion),” it said.

It said the regional number increases to a staggering RM400.55 billion (US$129 billion) if the cost of data loss is taken into consideration.

The study analyzed 270 websites and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, 108 software downloads, and 155 CDs or DVDs.

IDC also interviewed 2,077 consumers and 258 IT managers or chief information officers from Brazil, China, Germany, India, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

It found that counterfeit software that does not come with the computer, 45% is downloaded from the Internet.

“Of this, 78% is downloaded from websites or peer to peer networks and includes some type of spyware, while 36% contained Trojans and adware,” it said.

Microsoft Malaysia national technology officer Dr Dzahar Mansor said the cybercrime reality is that counterfeiters are tampering with the software code and lacing it with malware.

“Some of this malware records a person's every keystroke -- allowing cybercriminals to steal a victim's personal and financial information -- or remotely switches on an infected computer's microphone and video camera, giving cybercriminals eyes and ears in boardrooms and living rooms.

The best way to secure yourself and your property from these malware threats when you buy a computer is to demand genuine software,” he said.

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