NEWS FROM THE LAB - Monday, February 7, 2005

Commercial Pocket PC software wiping PDA if you use pirated serial code Posted by Jarno @ 10:29 GMT

It seems that bad ideas with copy protection and dealing with pirates are repeating themselves.

In August 2000 a Palm developer who created Liberty game boy emulator for Palm devices, created a Liberty trojan that pretended to crack for of his software, but actually deletes all files on the device and reboots.

About a week ago a Pocket PC developer who created Pocket Mechanic utility for pocket PC, created update of his software (version 1.50) that deletes all files on the device if user is using one specific pirated serial number. Which means that if user is using such number and upgrades to version 1.50 or downloads 1.50 and enters pirated serial code, he will lose all data.

The current version 1.51 does not contain the trojan functionality anymore.

While pirating software is illegal, so is creating trojans that check whether user has pirated version and damaging that users files. It is sad to see the same bad idea repeating time after time.

I as one who is working in software company, can well understand the frustration one feels when products of ones hard work is illegally copied. But using illegal ways of combating against that is not an answer either.

And to those who use pirated serial numbers, your typical Pocket PC software costs 15 USD, if you like
the software, why don't you just buy it, and save all the trouble.