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Cyber Safety Glossary

Warez Sites

Warez (pronounced "wares") is a term used on the Internet to refer to pirated software. The term began being used when free download Web sites were popular. Today, "warez" is used to describe any site which hosts pirated software; Web sites, FTP sites, etc. The organizations or people behind Warez sites are software pirates who violate copyright laws and steal from the rightful owners of the material. Warez site pirates often obtain current or pre-release copies of copyrighted works, then "crack" the security features and offer it for download to others on the Internet. Warez pirates and those who download from them are actively prosecuted. On July 1, 2005, for example, law enforcement agents from 11 countries participated in one of the largest raids to date on suspected Warez sites. More than 90 searches were conducted worldwide.

How to Recognize This Threat:
Any Web site that offers free download of games, movies, music, and software applications that are not designated freeware or shareware is a Warez site.

What Should I Do:
Never download copyrighted material. This is against international law. Anyone participating is liable and can be charged in criminal and civil proceedings.