Stop Cracking Software!

Stop what you are doing right now. STOP it right now. Did you know cracking software is a crime? Yes, and it is a very serious crime in the tech industry which is the modern day in which we live in these days. Anyway, I am not a law-enforcement agent so I will not talk about the law here. My point is just please by all means STOP what you are doing and just buy the software or better off find open-source alternatives for what you want to use.

What is software cracking anyway?

Software cracking (known as “breaking” mostly in the 1980s[1]) is the modification of software to remove or disable features which are considered undesirable by the person cracking the software, especially copy protection features (including protection against the manipulation of software, serial number, hardware key, date checks and disc check) or software annoyances like nag screens and adware.

Wikipedia

If you have cracked software before, which is very highly likely that you did, you know about Dynamic-link Library (DDL) files. You might not know what they are but you have obviously dragged them around and being told to place them in your installation path including other steps that they have told you.

If you are a bit lost, below is a screen-snap of the files they tell you to drag.

DDL Files for ArcGIS Pro

Anyway, I am not here to teach you about technology and complicated technical terms, I am just posting about this just to tell you to STOP!

Why Should You Stop?

I am going to mention this one first:

  • its totally unfair and unethical

Imagine the time and effort spent by the programmer in order to make life easier for you and then you just crack? Come-on. You are totally gambling with someone’s way of living. How is the developer supposed to continue doing his work or survive on this planet if you are going to pay him for the work that he has done?

Just think about it before I move on to some of the stuff that you will actually start to regret especially if 50% of that Laptop or Desktop is filled with pirated/cracked software.

1. Malicious Content

The software itself also poses security risks. In a recent instance, cybersecurity researchers uncovered evidence of illegitimate software key generators and cracked platforms containing ransomware that stole users’ passwords. They found the dangerous versions on popular sites known to distribute pirated material.

Given that people use their computers for activities like banking, shopping and submitting health insurance claims, it’s easy to see how a hacker could rapidly obtain a wealth of sensitive details by getting passwords. Cybercriminals know passwords are lucrative due to the access they provide. Making this kind of ransomware fits with their aims.

Source: IT-Weapons

Now… Imagine you wake up to find all your funds in your bank account have been wired to an off-shore and untraceable account?

That’s right! All your savings and earnings. I will not talk of Karma here, its not the subject of the matter but just think about it.

2. Lack of Updates

The ramifications of using pirated software extend throughout virtually all industries. For example, a trucking company implements GIS methods to track, monitor and plan routes. In this modern day, ESRI through their ArcGIS Pro software have introduced Machine Learning and Deep Learning algorithms that help you easily do some of these tasks. Now how do you think this company is going to catch up with the tech when they are using ArcMap Version 10.1 Cracked?

I have also seen a lot of Surveying Firms using Surpac Software which is a 1998 version and what year is it right now? Come on seriously? I even doubt these firms and individuals using such old versions are capable of handling the clients needs and requirements in modern day.

3. Illegality

Using or distributing pirated software constitutes a violation of software copyright law. Companies and individuals face up to $150,000 in penalties for every instance. They’ve also committed a felony that can lead to up to five years in prison.

Source: Tomorrow Makers

Even if a person uses pirated software innocently — most sites offering cracked software don’t warn people they’re breaking the law by using it — their actions could cause consequences for their companies, jobs and livelihoods. For example, allegations of using pirated software could cause authorities at a university to decide that the visiting professor who did it broke the terms of the agreement allowing them to come to the institution.

5. You Could Infect Other Devices on Your Network

Something that some people don’t realize is that cracked software isn’t only a danger to your device. When you connect to the internet using your home network, your device shares information with other devices on the network like phones, tablets, and other computers. This means that if your device is compromised by malware, that malware can spread.

Once it has penetrated the security of one device via cracked software, malware can travel over networks. If one family member downloads cracked software, then the whole family’s devices can be compromised.

It’s even worse for businesses, as many have networks of hundreds or even thousands of computers. One person who downloads cracked software onto a work computer, even if they use their home network to do the downloading, can introduce malware to the entire business network. And if you infect your work’s network with malware, even unwittingly, you could be disciplined or lose your job.

Do Not Risk it

I’ve laid out some of the security risks of using cracked software. From facing fines to acquiring malware infections, there are many risks which comes from using illegal software.

If you can’t afford a piece of software, then don’t look for a cracked version. Instead, look for a free or open source alternative. For a list of places to look, see our list of the safest free software download sites for Windows.

All I am saying is, IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD ARCGIS, USE QGIS INSTEAD. Risking it is not worth it in the end. Ransomware is not a pretty good thing to play around and mess with if they get to you.