Just downloaded the latest gee-whiz game or app from a torrent site, and now all you need is a registration key to get it out of demo mode? Well, before you go ahead and download a keygen program to create a fake key or a “crack” program, think about the dangers that saving that $50 spend exposes you to.
Keygen programs are small applications that are intended to produce a serial number to allow the illegal use of software without paying for it. Cracks do the same thing by introducing new code or changing the existing code. They have been around for ages, and are written by some of the same folks that write malware. It should be no surprise to anyone that the most likely outcome of using this software would be the introduction of malware to the users’ system.
Many of these programs do not work as advertised, some actually do. Regardless of their percieved functionality, they are usually Trojan horse programs, and can provide an easy delivery mechanism for malicious software, backdoor shells, or even steal your paid for software registration keys and confidential files. Check out the 2 links below for some recent articles at SecureList regarding this exact problem. Very little of value is actually free these days. Ask yourself, what’s in it for the author?