Microsoft sees sophisticated pirate operation

By : |January 2, 1998 0

SAN FRANCISCO: Four suspected software pirates arrested in Los Angeles this week with counterfeit Microsoft products were running a big, sophisticated operation but failed to fake the anti-piracy hologram on the disks, a company security executive said on Saturday.

On Thursday, the FBI seized $10.5 million in counterfeit Microsoft software and arrested four men who allegedly smuggled several different versions of fake software products from Asia and sold them at deep discounts. A fifth man is still at large. "They were a very sophisticated group," Richard LaMagna, senior manager of worldwide piracy enforcement at Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp., told Reuters.

LaMagna said the group was well-organized, well-funded and appeared to be "distributing millions of dollars of software." He said that the software CDs seized included Microsoft’s Windows Millennium Edition. The genuine version carries an edge-to-edge hologram as a security feature, which LaMagna said the pirates tried to imitate. "We’re pleased that they haven’t been able to do that very well," he said. The pirates had placed stickers that looked like the hologram on their CDs, but these were easy to peel off.

According to published reports, the FBI on Thursday arrested Chien Sim Cheh, also known as Ted Chien; Hung Gia Huynh, also known as Raymond Wong; Henry Chi Wong and Eddy Chun Yao King. A fifth man, Cheuk Hong Wong, remains at large. All the men are Taiwan-born and all but King are naturalized US citizens, the Industry Standard reported. Microsoft had worked with the FBI on the case for more than a year, LaMagna said.

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.

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