Cracking software is a tempting way to get access to programs without paying for them. But is it safe? The answer is a resounding no. Cracked files can expose users to a range of security risks, from malware infections to hefty fines. Windows Defender and other antiviruses such as Malwarebytes often mark files associated with cracks as suspicious.
For example, when downloading an encrypted file with a required password, Windows Defender may flag it as a trojan. It's impossible to know if an encrypted file contains malware before entering the password. Cracking sites may also contain pop-ups or redirects that send browsers to dangerous sites, leading to adware infections or even ransomware. Once a user has downloaded and installed decrypted software, malware hidden inside it can steal information from the computer and even download more malware, making the problem much worse.
A report by security company Cybereason estimates that more than 500,000 machines have been infected by malware from a single decrypted application. Even if the user is able to use the program for free, antivirus software doesn't care about that – it will still flag the file as suspicious. It's important to have a good antivirus installed to track any malware or viruses that the crack may have attached. In some cases, users may be tempted to download cracked games or other files in order to try out the program before buying it. However, this exposes them to a range of risks.
Malware infections can cause serious damage, and users may be fined for using cracked software. The size of this fine is usually much greater than the cost of licensing all software that has been used in its cracked version. Connecting to game servers with cracked games can also lead to permanent bans. And whitelisting cracks can be seen as facilitating crime or putting companies at risk if something they have whitelisted proves to be malicious or harmful. In conclusion, downloading cracked software is not safe and should be avoided at all costs. It's best to stay away from downloading cracked games or other files in order to protect yourself from security risks.