Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

UAE has lowest rate of software piracy in Middle East

About 80 per cent of counterfeit software sold online has some kind of malware, according to a new study from Microsoft and the International Data Corporation.

About 80 per cent of counterfeit software sold online has some kind of malware, infection or other problem, according to a new study from Microsoft and the International Data Corporation.

As a result of these infections, consumers are spending US$22 billion (Dh80.8bn) and 1.5 billion hours trying to identify and repair the damages, while enterprises around the world are having to fork out $114bn to deal with such malware attacks.

“Almost half of piracy comes from internet and peer-to-peer websites that pretend to be selling genuine software,” said Dinis Cuoto, the general manager of antipiracy at Microsoft. “One out of every three PCs that have counterfeit software are infected with some kind of virus. This is a very serious issue.”

The rate of counterfeit software in the UAE was 37 per cent in 2011, the lowest in the region and better than the global average of 42 per cent.

“It is a good number compared to the region. Qatar’s rate is 50 per cent and Oman is 61 per cent, but it is still $208 million in lost business,” said Mr Cuoto.

Counterfeit software has become a lucrative source of income for criminals, according to Mr Cuto.

“What we’re seeing is more and more organised crime using software activities as one of the ways to fund their activities. It is a lot less risky to counterfeit software than to deal with drugs, arms or pornography,” he said.

These gangs have moved away from selling pirated versions on CDs, but instead have set up websites that claim to sell genuine software at a discounted price.

“They make money twice. They sell you the software at a 15 per cent to 20 per cent discount and then they take control of your machine …  They can steal your credit card, bank account information and take control of your machine to invade other machines,” said Mr Cuoto.

Yemen has the highest rate of piracy at 89 per cent in the region, followed by Algeria at 84 per cent.


thamid@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 A sign points the way to an outdoor market popular with German visitors on the Polish side of the German-Polish border. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

In pictures: A decade since the European Union went east

May 1 will mark 10 years since the European Union expanded east, taking in countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states as new members. And though the border region between Germany and Poland is flourishing with trade and cultural exchange, the open border has also brought a sharp rise in crime.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National