Fortify Software has warned against downloading and installing pirate copies of the new Microsoft operating system.
Windows 7 has been leaked onto P2P file-sharing sites and apparently been downloaded by tens of thousands of users
Rob Rochwald, Fortify's director of product marketing, claimed that the main problem with this version is that there is no way of authenticating that the early build has not been tampered with by a hacker, who may have coded all sorts of malware into the 2.44 gigabytes file.
Rochwald said that anyone hooking up a PC with the early version of Windows 7 Ultimate to the internet could find their PC generating malware, hacker and denial-of-service attacks, as well as email spam, without them being aware of it.
“And that's just for starters. It's highly unlikely that any IT security application will protect the new operating system from internally-coded malware, so the fall-out from trying an unofficial version of the new operating system could be quite severe”, he said.
Microsoft has remained tight-lipped on when the new version will be released, but has hinted that the beta version will be available next week. Some commentators have suggested however that Microsoft may release the Windows 7 beta as early as January 7, as CEO Steve Ballmer delivers a keynote that evening at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.