Security tips

5 Dangers of Cracked Software

Everything that was ever created by one human may be cracked by another one. This sentence in different alterations is often used by computer pirates. Programs cracked by them can be easily downloaded on the Internet. Of course, the main declared advantage of cracked apps is that they are completely free. This factor is a reason for cracked software popularity in 3rd world countries. But didn’t you think that computer pirates want to have money to live, too? To have this really essential option, they gain their profit in other illegal and possibly harmful ways. Let me explain which ways I am talking about and why it is a bad idea to use unlicensed software.

Specifying the cracked software origins

Every not-freeware program has its own license checking mechanism. Such a check may be performed exclusively on the user’s PC and using not only a PC but also a server where all data about licenses is stored. But the code which is responsible for this operation is stored inside of the root directory of the program. Hence, a hacker is able to find this code and modify it in a specific way : he creates a specific “jump” on the license checking stage, so the operation will be simply skipped, and the program will think it is activated1.

The process of program hacking
The process of cracking the software

Why are cracked programs dangerous?

After the described modification hacker can distribute his program for the wide pirate public. However, he will not have any profit in such a scenario. To solve this problem, hackers add several programs to the initial package. Which programs? Ones whose developers agreed to pay the pirate for this operation. And here goes the most interesting.

Many small developers distribute their programs as a part of the software bundle. It can be whatever – antiviruses (Segurazo, Santivirus, McAfee, Avast, et cetera), “fast and comfortable browsers”, different utilities with or without practical use, and so on. Such apps are more annoying than harmful, but their usage may be dangerous because of wrong actions in tight places, like the registry or Group Policies.

McAfee installation
McAfee is going to install as a part of software bundle

But, besides free trash bag-like apps, computer pirates can add different malicious apps. And their type and severity depend only on the size of the reward promised to the hacker by malware developers. It may be something non-critical, like adware or browser hijacker. However, in most cases of malware injection through the cracked software, users get a full-house: trojan-stealer, trojan-backdoor, trojan-downloader, worm, virus, and, finally, ransomware. Because of modern trends through malware, you will get every malware mentioned earlier inside the single app. Bad perspective, isn’t it?

Breaking the law with cracked programs

Using cracked software is an outlaw action in all civilized countries. And if you use it at your home computer and do not create any commercial product with the pirated programs, you may keep calm – it is tough to detect that you use exactly unlicensed software. However, big companies and any other commercial organization can be checked by the executive authorities. And in case if cracked software usage is confirmed, the corporation will receive a large fine. The size of this fine is usually much bigger than the license cost for all software that has been used in its cracked version. So, think well before using cracked AutoCAD or Photoshop in your company.

Judge finishes the lawsuit
Making use of cracked software may led to extremely large fines

As you can see, cracked software usage carries many disadvantages that can cost you much more than the license for this program. Yes, in some cases, cracked software usage can be forced – for example, if you want to test the program before purchasing, being not sure if it can satisfy your needs. But even in such a situation – pirating with good intentions – you can become a victim of malware attacks.

  1. Software cracking process described on Wikipedia

Related Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button