Pirated Windows 7 RC builds a botnet [Genuine Windows Blog]
Are you among those wanting to test the newest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system before it is released for sale? If so, there's definitely a right way and a wrong way to become one of the testers for the Windows 7 release candidate. Microsoft is allowing folks to download a copy of Windows 7 RC from their official site here. As with any piece of pre-release software, Microsoft has a series of rules that testers must follow and testers should know that the release candidate has a deadline after which it will become non-operative.
But, there is a group of peer-to-peer enthusiasts that are looking to download a copy of Windows 7 RC via BitTorrent. It's not a good idea. There is a pirated version of the Windows 7 RC that is circulating on BitTorrent that has embedded malware which, once installed, will automatically co-opt a user's computer into a botnet. This blog post reports that 25,000 systems have fallen victim to the botnet, just in the past two weeks!
While you may be anxious to upgrade your PC from Windows Vista to the latest operating system, it's important to make sure you're getting your copy from a trusted source - namely Microsoft - and not a compromised third-party. And, as with any pre-release version of software (and especially with a pre-release version of an operating system), unless you're really interested in participating in the test process which undoubtedly will uncover software bugs and other assorted problems, you can always wait until the final release product shows up later this year.