Downloading Windows 7 from unofficial sources online could be a very risky venture according to security vendor Fortify, due to the fact that they may already be infected with malware.
Early builds of WIndows 7, otherwise known as "Windows 7 Ultimate Build 7000", are already available online and it would not come as a surprise if some downloads are booby-trapped, given the propensity of a number of internet users to download and install pre-release and early versions of Windows.
Rob Rachwald, Fortify's director of product marketing, reckons that there are no easy way ot authenticating that early builds widely available for download have not been tampered with by hackers, which could have "customised" the download to their own advantages.
He added, “Reports suggest that pirate versions of an early build of Windows 7, which is under alpha test with developers, is available for file-sharing on the Internet. Given the low level at which this operating system installs on a PC, we recommend users give the version a very wide berth because of the associated security risks”
Similarly, there have been a resurgence of illegitimate Windows XP special edition downloads, which come in an array of colours (blue, red, black etc) and which in many cases come pre-loaded with dozens of popular and lesser known applications.
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There are ways to verify whether your download is "genuine" or not. However, while some might call this scaremongering or mere FUD, thousands are currently downloading the application (with several thousands more seeding it). Many of the early adopters who downloaded Windows 7 online are savvy enough to detect whether the software they use is malware infected or not.
(The Tech Herald)