The Economic Times reports that over 83% of new personal computers that Microsoft purchased from nine Asian countries as part of a test contained a high level of pirated software.
Microsoft ran this test between May and July 2018, and the results were incredibly worrying for the tech giant.
In four of the nine countries – South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand – 100% of the purchased personal computers were found to have pirated software installed.
91% of computers purchased in India were loaded with pirated software, while the ‘best’ performing country was the Philippines – with 43% of these computers housing pirated software.
Regional Director of Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit Mary Jo Schrade asked consumers to choose computers with genuine software.
“Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their techniques to evade security measures and embedding their malware into pirated software is one of their tactics, as it allows them to compromise large numbers of personal computers and access stolen credentials with ease,” said Schrade.
Malware often installed in pirated software include trojan horses and Bitcoin mining software, added the report.