Massive Windows Vista piracy ring smashed

Chinese-based ring counterfeited over £1 billion of software

A huge piracy ring involving Windows Vista has been smashed in China. The counterfeiting organisation has been tracked by the FBI in cahoots with China's Public Security Bureau, says the BBC .

Members of the syndicate pirated many different Microsoft apps including Windows Vista and Windows XP as well as the last two iterations of Microsoft Office. Microsoft says that information used to help track the pirates down was obtained from its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) software. Indeed it seems 1,000 fake copies made by the ring were tracked this way. The software had, according to Microsoft, spread so far as 27 countries.

The pirated software seized was worth as much as £250 million, though the ring is thought to be responsible for counterfeiting as much as £1 billion worth of software at factories in the Guangdong area.

A total of 25 people were arrested in the raids.



Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Lifehacker UK. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.