By Preston Gralla
May 23, 2017
China was hit particularly hard by WannaCry because a vast amount of its Windows software is pirated, and pirated software typically doesn’t get security updates. The problem isn’t just that the government doesn’t enforce piracy laws. The government flaunts them, and it uses pirated software itself. Government-run colleges, law-enforcement agencies, oil and telecom companies and more use pirated versions of Windows. Russia was hit badly as well, and for the same reason.
A study by the BSA Software alliance found that in 2015, 70% of all software in China and 64% of all software in Russia wasn’t properly licensed. In a prescient finding, the BSA noted, “An analysis done as part of BSA’s new Global Software Survey finds that the higher the rate of unlicensed PC software, the higher the likelihood that users will experience potentially debilitating malware.”
The upshot? Governments worldwide need to cut down on piracy if they want to stop the next global malware infection.