Hacktool:Win32/Keygen Produces Fake Activation Keys for Popular Software
Hacktool:Win32/Keygen is a rogue key generator and software piracy tool that uses social engineering to trick users into thinking they’re getting a legitimate product key. This malware generates fake serial numbers for various Windows applications, including Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop, among others.
The Win32/Keygen malware family has been around for a while now, as it was initially spotted by the Microsoft Malware Protection Center on July 16, 2009. Hacktool:Win32/Keygen has been used in mass spam campaigns, mostly to spread the Win32/Keygen.E worm that uses backdoors to spread fake activation keys for popular software.
The leveraging of Hacktool:Win32/Keygen can also lead users to a plethora of other problems, as a report from Microsoft shows that over half of the computers who used the hack tool were infected with additional malware. The infection types varied from cryptocurrency miners to conventional ransomware or other strains of malware that could record keystrokes and personal information, including financial data and more.
In the end, the reason most people wind up encountering Hacktool:Win32/Keygen is because they are trying to secure legitimate software without having to pay for it. These individuals need to remember that software piracy is illegal and unethical. Although this may seem like a petty crime to first-time pirates, there is a negative impact on everyone involved. The unauthorized use of software is a form of theft that can inhibit the growth of businesses that invest in software development. Additionally, as we just explained in this article, the security risks associated with attempting to secure software in this insidious way may also lead to getting infected with malware threats.