Report Reveals 22% Rise in Pirated Software and Digital Media Releases

Jul 07, 2015

Arxan Technologies, a provider of application protection solutions, announced the publication of its fourth annual "State Of Application Security Report," with new research on the ecosystem for pirated software and digital assets. Conducted by Arxan and iThreat Cyber Group (ICG), the report reveals that illegal reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material on the web is booming as a result of security breaches in both mobile and desktop software applications.

Arxan and ICG analyzed data collected over the past three years that examined the distribution of unauthorized digital assets on the Dark Web and indexed sites that are focused on distributing pirated releases. Thousands of sites were analyzed, including over 50 in the sole business of distributing pirate releases. The report focuses on the areas of software, gaming, and digital media.

1.6 million releases were pirated in 2014. The extent of digital media piracy is far more extensive than commonly perceived. In 2013 and 2014, on average nearly 1 million pirated releases were found. In 2015, Videos (TV, Movies, etc., excluding Adult Content) accounted for about 50 percent, and Adult content accounted for roughly 25 percent of releases found.

The cost or un-monetized value of copyright infringing releases in 2014 is estimated to be more than $800 billion. Piracy of software and digital assets is on the rise. 1.96 million pirated assets are expected by the end of 2015 -- an increase of 22% over the last three years.

If distribution of pirated games continues at the current rate, over 31,000 unauthorized releases will be active in 2015 -- double the number of pirated releases just three years ago. Additionally, malware linked to pirated software is an enormous cost to both businesses and consumers. Enterprises will spend $491 billion, due to malware associated with pirated software.