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MS starts Web hunt for pirates

Probably using a price checking search engine

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Reducing security risks from open source software

Microsoft has gone into battle against software piracy armed with a new Web searching tool that scans sites for evidence of pirated goods being offered for sale.

The new technology will be monitoring the Web 24 hours a day. By automating the routine and time-consuming parts of the job, Microsoft reckons that it will identify thousands of illegal sites every day. Already there have been 64 criminal raids and 17 civil lawsuits in 15 countries resulting from Microsoft's anti-piracy efforts.

"The Internet is creating a fascinating global marketplace," said anti-piracy manager Diana Piquette. "But it is also bringing numerous risks that we want retailers and honest sellers to look out for."

The Reg suspects this tool could be scanning for suspiciously low prices as an indicator of piratey behaviour, but has had no confirmation from Microsoft as yet.

Concerned good citizens who think they may have discovered some nefarious doings should email the anti piracy team here. ®

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