“HONG KONG — China is home to the world’s largest group of internet users, a thriving online technology scene and rampant software piracy that encapsulates its determination to play by its own set of digital rules.But as the country scrambles to recover from a global hacking attack that hit its companies, government agencies and universities especially hard, its dependence on pirated software is getting a harder look.
A large number of computers running pirated versions of Windows in China and Russia probably contributed to the cyberattack’s spread, according to the Finnish cybersecurity company F-Secure. Pirated software tends to be more vulnerable to malware and viruses. Because pirated software usually is not registered with the developer, its users often miss out on major security patches that could ward off attacks.
China, India and Russia were among the countries most affected by the ransomware attack, according to the Moscow-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab. The three countries are also big sources of pirated software. A study last year by BSA, a trade association of software vendors, found that in China, the share of unlicensed software reached 70 percent in 2015. Russia, with a rate of 64 percent, and India, with 58 percent, were close behind.”