Recently the idea has been brought up that software pirates may in fact be trying to help make computing with Microsoft products safer. After service pack 2 for XP was released. There was of course a leaked copy of XP with SP2 pre-installed. Now it seems that software pirates are again releasing versions of Microsoft XP with patches and other security fixes in place. Should these pirated versions be trusted? Or should users be weary of the source. It wouldn't be a far fetched idea that software pirates could plant backdoors such as a trojan that would allow remote access with their version of the software. Although a large number of users are using pirated copies of XP. So any previous underhanded tactics surely would have been detected by now. That isn't to say that you should use or trust software products that have been pirated. You are of course depriving companies and their employees of income and revenue when you use piarted software. Although with the current pricing for some software. I can understand why end users would turn to this avenue. Personally I don't fully agree that these users could have their needs met by using open source products.
Honestly it's probably not the best idea to trust software pirates to help secure your machine. You should always obtain your software updates and security patches from trusted sources. This concept also holds true for users of open source software.
“distributing modified versions of Windows is just as illegal as distributing unaltered copies.”
“Our patches are not redistributable, but are free for our customers to download conveniently from Microsoft.com,” said a Microsoft spokeswoman. “The reason for this is there is a risk of tampering. Users should always look for patches directly from the software publisher. In this case, Microsoft.”
Which begs the question: What's to stop OS tweakers from installing spyware and other malicious software?