Microsoft has filed a complaint at a federal court in Washington accusing a person behind an AT&T subscription of activating various pirated copies of Windows 7 and Office 10. The account was identified by Microsoft’s in-house cyberforensics team based on suspicious “activation patterns.”
Microsoft doesn’t have a long track record of cracking down on individual pirates so this move is new.
Microsoft filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against a person who activated pirated copies of Windows 7 and Office 10 from an AT&T Internet connection.
“Microsoft’s cyberforensics have identified a number of product key activations originating from IP address 18.104.22.168, which is presently assigned to ISP AT&T Internet Services..,” the complaint reads.
“These activations have characteristics that on information and belief, establish that Defendants are using the IP address to activate pirated software.”
While many think unauthorised copies are hard for Microsoft to detect, the company explains that its cybercrime team claims to use state-of-the-art technology to detect software piracy. It looks for activation patterns and characteristics which make it likely that certain IP-addresses are engaged in unauthorised copying.
In this situation, the defendant activated numerous copies of Windows 7 and Office 2010 with suspicious keys, which were nicked from Microsoft’s supply chain, used without permission from the refurbisher channel, and used more often than the license permits.
So, this is not an average user, but someone who sells PCs with pirated software.