Bangkok ? The Economic and Cyber Crime Division (ECD) of the Royal Thai Police conducted a raid at a computer shop located in Sunee Tower in Ubon Rachathani where the staff were caught loading illegal software onto newly purchased laptop PCs.? The software included Windows 10 Pro and Office Pro Plus 2013 software.

ECD police say many consumers are unaware of the risks associated with pirated software, such as malware and cybercrime, and as a result they ruin the security of new PCs by loading illegal software onto the hard drives.

Police say that cracking down on shops that sell pirated software helps to protect consumer interests, and they hope to raise awareness among consumers about the risks of using pirated software.

?If people have any need for privacy for financial and banking transactions, or simply a need to keep information private, then using pirated software is a bad idea,? said ECD Deputy Commander, Pol. Col. Papatdet Ketphun.? ?Shops that load pirated software onto newly purchased PCs for a few hundred baht are doing a big disservice to their customers.? People should never use a PC with pirated software for anything that requires real security.?

ECD pledges to continue raids against shops that sell or load pirated software onto PCs.? They say they will enforce the Thai Copyright Act to the greatest extent possible against retail shops that continue to spread malware onto PCs used by consumers and businesses.

The malware, embedded in counterfeit software, is engineered to spy on users and conduct denial-of-service attacks including stealing personal information, locking the PCs, using PCs to send spam, or downloading other malicious software without notice and consent.

?Software piracy makes Thailand an easy target for cyber criminals and hackers,? said Pol., Col. Papatdet. ?We would like to send the message to those shops to stop selling illegal software. This should be taken very seriously, as we will extend the investigation covering all IT complexes in the country and it will directly affect their business.?

ECD recommends consumers to avoid purchasing software from less reputable computer manufacturers or retailers as they may use counterfeit copies of popular software products to build machines more cheaply to increase their profit margins.

When looking at software online, read the description carefully. Legitimate software comes with directions, instruction manuals, activation codes, and official packaging.

Recently, the Economic Crime Division (ECD) police, the Department of Intellectual Property and the Association of Thai Software Industry launched the Safe Software, Safe Nation campaign.

To support the 2016 national campaign ?Safe Software, Safe Nation campaign, and to make Thailand more cyber-secure, call the Software Piracy Hotline at 02-714-1010 or by reporting it online. More information is available online at www.stop.in.th

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