Microsoft has claimed that malicious versions of the recently released Windows 7 operating system software have been detected.


After the latest version, build 7100 was launched on Tuesday, hackers have jumped on the bandwagon to distribute a fake version of the download. Microsoft has claimed that its research shows that as many as a third of the company's customers worldwide may be running counterfeit copies of Windows.


In an interview on the Microsoft website, featured in the Sydney Morning Herald, Joe Williams, general manager, Worldwide Genuine Windows, claimed that it had seen cases of customers who wanted to buy genuine software and believed they did, only to find out later that they were victims of software piracy.


Williams said: “It's so important for customers to get their copies of Windows from a trusted source. In the last few days we've seen reports of illegitimate distributions of the release candidate of our latest Windows operating system, Windows 7, being offered in a way that is designed to infect a customer's PC with malware.”