Software pirates were responsible for more than $53 billion in commercial software lost last year and for every street hustler hawking knock-off copies of Windows 7 down on Canal Street, there are two or three dozen others selling stolen or counterfeit apps from their couch on various online sites.
But as eSecurity Planet reports, the Los Angeles police, working in conjunction with the Software and Information Industry Association finally managed to bust a pair of the most prolific pirates using Craigslist to sell stolen version of some of the most popular consumer software around.
These guys weren’t amateurs. They downloaded apps from a rogue Web site, burned them onto CDs and even designed and made faux CD covers for each of the software suites to make them appear even more authenticate.
The scam was so successful they also started giving away frequent buyer coupons to customers who came back time and time again for copies of Rosetta Stone or Adobe applications at below-market prices.
But it all came to an end this week when the LAPD raided their apartment in Chinatown.
Los Angeles police this week arrested a pair of men charged with running one of the most organized and profitable counterfeit software rings on record through the popular online classifieds site Craigslist.
Duong Tran, 29, and Huy Nguyen, 27, are accused of downloading thousands of software applications from Demonoid.com, a rogue Web site and BitTorrent tracker.
After downloading knock-off applications from vendors such as Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE), Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK), Rosetta Stone, SolidWorks and others, the duo allegedly would create cracked serial keys and burn the apps onto recordable CDs, according to police and representatives from the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA).