How to identify them?
Since there are software programs with license keys, there have also been people creating their own (pirated) license keys. A pirated license key is created and distributed by an individual, other than the software publisher itself. The pirated license key does make sure that the software can be used, but the right to make use of the software program has not been granted/authorized by the software publisher itself. A pirated or “cracked” license key is typically made available on the internet, so that many individuals can make use of the software. This without paying a license and/or support fee for such use towards the software publisher that developed and owns the software. Due to the distribution via the internet, it is typically difficult to find out who (initially) created the pirated license key. Typically, this may include ex-employees of the software publisher, in this case Quest or Dell Software (with the objective to get back towards their former employee), individuals that just like to avoid paying license and/or support fees for the use of proprietary owned software or individuals that would just like to test the software functionality without obtaining a (trial or freeware) license from Quest Software.
Many organizations have troubles in determining the difference between a pirated license key or an official license key provisioned by Dell or Quest. During the course of an audit, Quest Software looks at the gathered license keys by using its own internal “License Key Analysis” tool. However, you do not have access to such tool. End users should therefore have a complete and accurate license entitlement administration in which the license key(s) as provided by Dell, Quest or any of its resellers are administered correctly. It may not sound very appealing, but this is the only way you can keep track of the license keys provided and the license keys installed, to reconcile your specific situation.
You should keep the following situations in mind to identify a pirated license key: