Feeds

Scottish businesses targeted by anti-piracy hoaxers

BSA and FAST named in fake letter

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Companies in Scotland are being warned of a bogus letter allegedly sent by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) warning of an impending audit for illegally held software. The letter says that companies will be contacted by a Mr T Thorpe on behalf of FAST (Federation Against Software Theft) who will carry out the audit on behalf of the BSA. FAST confirmed that no one called Mr T Thorpe worked for the organisation and said it has passed on the details of the hoax to the BSA after being tipped off by a company which received the letter. Both anti-software piracy organisations have denied anything to do with the letter and have taken action to warn companies in the Glasgow/Inverclyde area to be on the lookout. "The BSA is anxious to alert all Scottish businesses to this fraudulent attempt to gain access to the companies’ software details," said the BSA in a statement. "Contrary to the suggestion in the fake letter, the BSA has not selected any company for an inspection by the company named in the letter, FAST -- or any other auditing company. "The BSA will pass details of the possible fraud over to the Scottish authorities," it said. What makes the hoax even more puzzling is that it appears to be motiveless. One explanation may be that the group involved was staking out companies intending to steal hardware to order. In the letter, it talks of contacting "other graphic related companies". This may provide a clue to a motive but both the BSA and FAST admit that they are stumped by the fraud. Ironically, the BSA is launching a new campaign -- Crackdown 99 -- to curb the illegal use of software. It is sending out letters to 80,000 small businesses across the country alerting them to the penalties for using illegal software and is worried that some companies will ignore it thinking it may also be a hoax. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.