According to blog posts by Alexx Kochis, some select copies of the leaked Release Candidate (RC) for Windows 7 are infected. Considering the level of anticipation for the newest version of Windows, even if it's only an RC, it should perhaps come as no surprise that miscreants would spike the PtoP leak with malicious software.

“Wow that was fast, though I don't suppose I should be surprised,” commented Kochis. “I say that I shouldn't be surprised because in research we supported a couple off years ago we discovered that the typical methods that someone would use to find and obtain unlicensed software (much of it over BitTorrent) exposed users to significant risk from Trojans and other Malware.”

“I do hope that no one has had any problems as a result of the infected files. This example unfortunately shows that there are those out there who see the significant interest in something such as Windows 7 as an opportunity to try to take advantage of others,” he added.
Kochis went on to talk about taking free software over P2P networks and the risk one assumes by downloading software they know they should pay for. Considering the RC release of Windows 7 is free, we assume he is hinting at other pirated copies of Windows software that sometimes contain Malware.

A thread on Neowin, which was closed by a moderator, kicked off the hype and subsequent warnings. Frank Fontaine, the user to first post a warning that the Torrent copy of Windows 7 he downloaded contained a Trojan, started a bit of a debate in the thread. The debate chastised those who jumped the gun on the May 05 general release of the RC, opting to risk an unknown download instead of taking it directly from Microsoft.

However, while some would rather risk downloading malicious software in order to secure the RC early, one user posted a comment to the Alexx Kochis blog that encouraged Microsoft
to consider an official BitTorrent stance.

“BitTorrent is a great distribution mechanism and MS should have learned by now that serving out ISOs the way it does puts far too much strain on its own servers causing frustration for everyone,” wrote Derek Martin.

“If MS had approved ISO downloads using the BitTorrent system (the MS Tracker if you will!), we could all benefit from your software faster and with far few headaches!”
For now, the best advice is wait 24 hours. While the exact RC release time is presently unknown, Microsoft has said it will open public downloads of Windows 7 on May 05.

See Also
Download windows 7