Often enough I run into a tricked out PCs that have no key sticker and therefore no real license. They are likely former server installations of Windows on old office computers. They are purchased in bulk by refurbishers then end up being sold for a hundred bucks or so at second-hand computer dealers to people who might otherwise have difficulty affording the price of a new machine.
I pride myself at keeping the OEM machines out the landfill because they are still very operable and I only see them in my shop because they have caught a non-repairable virus or had a hard drive failure.
Still, I get quite a few on the shelf of my garage on which I cannot install an XP license. I won't sell a machine with a hacked windows because they only blackscreen later or if automatic updates are turned off (to prevent blackscreening) they will certainly catch a virus in short order.
They are not worth the price of a new copy of XP but still too good to throw out. I can't blame Microsoft for enforcing the licensing of their software but it's also a shame to waste good machinery; and I'm becoming quite a packrat.
The bottom line is that any group that produces malware has some type of motivation. Rootkits for Dummies identifies Chineese and Russian intellegence as original sources of rootkits but it is likely that other governments were producing them long before that. It is also naive to not believe that antivirus companies routinely attack each others products through third parties.
No highly skilled programmer is going to waste their time producing malware code unless they are somehow rewarded for it or have something to gain. Most malware originates from other than commonly alleged criminal sources.
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