Spyware
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SPYWARE. Spyware, a new class of malicious programs, is just as dangerous as viruses but generally Is underreported. The issues are no longer those of privacy, security and performance, but possible legal and criminal liabilities.

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SPYWARE

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Spyware

SPYWARE

Spyware, a new class of malicious programs, is just as dangerous as viruses but generally Is underreported. The issues are no longer those of privacy, security and performance, but possible legal and criminal liabilities.

The best defenses against spyware are education, awareness and careful reading of license agreements prior to installation of any software.


Spyware1

SPYWARE

  • Spyware is not a virus; behaves more like a Trojan horse.

  • Typically, no data is damaged

  • Spyware runs quietly in the background without your knowledge

  • Spyware forwards information about you, your surfing habits, and data from your computer to the spyware’s owner.


Spyware2

SPYWARE

  • Definition: Spyware is “ware” that spies on you

    Or

  • Any software that covertly gathers user information through the user’s Internet connection without your knowledge, usually for advertising purposes


Spyware3

SPYWARE

  • Two types of spyware based on functionality:

    1. loggers-runs silently in the background and records activities like key strokes and mouse clicks on your computer; data can be played back to reconstruct what you’ve done. Can steal passwords and credit card numbers.


Spyware4

SPYWARE

  • Two types of spyware based on functionality:

    2. trackers-monitor usage habits and store them as statistical data for reporting. Data typically used to track your surfing habits.


Spyware5

SPYWARE

  • How does your computer get spyware?

    1. generally, from free downloads like Kazaa or free game programs (bundles the spyware with the “free” download)

    2. visiting a web site

    3. viewing email

    The downloads from a web site or email may require you to click to view the site; when you click, you authorize a download.


Spyware6

Spyware

  • In a U.S. securities filing, it was disclosed that the Kazaa file-swapping program had quietly bundled software from Brilliant Digital Entertainment that would create a P2P distribution network what when activated used the individual users’ bandwidth, drive space and process cycles to distribute paid commercial content and run computing tasks for Kazaa.


Spyware7

Spyware

Possible problems caused by spyware includes:

  • Web accessing slow down

  • Computer locking up

  • System start up problems

  • Windows not shutting down properly

  • Computer slow down because of all the applications running in the background.


Spyware countermeasures

Spyware Countermeasures

  • Set “cookies” preference

  • Install pop-up blocker

  • Install Spybot or Adaware

  • Install a firewall and monitor outgoing activity


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