Revulytics Blog

Tracking the Crackers - A Look at Software Piracy

November 14, 2008

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We worked with eWeek’s Brian Prince this week to demonstrate the trends we have seen with piracy group activity – see his article here. This included a walkthrough of some of the pirate software index sites that we commonly use for customer assessments and have validated through our own experience. Although, the notion of NFO files, top sites, and use of thepiratebay.org is nothing new, there is a lot that can be learned from this data if you know what to look for.
For example, we recently did a detailed analysis for a large CAD vendor that included forensic review of their cracked software. When we created a diagram the crack release activity across their products (see the diagram below), there was a change in piracy group distribution in 2008. It turns out that Lz0 (Linear0) had leveraged a latent vulnerability in the licensing system that allowed them to circumvent the license enforcement in any new release within 4 days of its general availability. Because of this, no other group could beat their release and hence they became the dominant piracy group for that vendor.

- Vic

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Michael Goff

Post written by Michael Goff

Marketing Director at Revulytics
Michael is Marketing Director at Revulytics where he is responsible for corporate marketing, content, and social media. He has helped to educate the industry on the benefits of software usage analytics for compliance and product management through the company's blog and contributed articles in trade publications. Michael was previously a marketing programs manager at The MathWorks and principal at Goff Communications. Michael earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from Colgate University.