Norton SystemWorks Spam
Bogus software at Bargain Prices?
Almost anybody who gets spam, has had an unsolicited
email offering huge discounts on Symantec's Norton SystemWorks
Typically, most people will either delete the spam
or maybe report it to their spam reporting service (for
and leave it at that.
What's actually happening is a little more sinister.
This isn't just a case of misguided affiliates or small
software vendors being a bit stupid, this is actually
the end result of industrial-scale piracy of the Symantec
Norton SystemWorks suite from factories typically located
in the far east.
How can you tell if this is Spam or not? Simply put,
a product like Norton SystemWorks 2003 Professional
lists at about $100 but can be had for around $50 with
rebates and discounts for the boxed product. A few places
legitimately sell CD-only versions, but no reputable
software outlet would ever use spam to sell a product.
In other words, if the offer seems to be too good
to be true, it's probably a rip-off.
Symantec have a comprehensive
site in what to look for with these bogus offers,
with samples of fake sites and key phrases that spammers
What's the harm in a ripped off copy of SystemWorks?
Some people wonder what the harm is in getting a
bargain copy of SystemWorks for $10 or so. Well, there
are two main issues.
Firstly, it's theft. The intellectual property belongs
to Symantec, and it's not even as if it costs hundreds
of dollars. In terms of what you get for your money,
it's a good product, fairly priced.
Secondly, you'd be dealing with criminals who'd have
no reservations about ripping off your credit card details,
and are probably involved in other criminal activities,
possibly including smuggling, drugs and extortion. Don't
help to fund their activities.
What can I do to report the Systemworks spam?
You can subscribe to a service such as SpamCop
which will report the spam to the sender's ISP and hosting
company. You should also send the Symantec anti-spam
team a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org
so that they can track down pirates and rogue resellers.