Spyware & Adware by Dominique Fruchtman www.consultdom.com [email protected] SPYWARE What is it? Why is it bad? How do I get rid of it? How do I keep it off? www.pchelp911.com/files/startcop.zip Bad News Corrupt hard drive, damaged operating system
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Spyware and adware finds you when you...
9 out of 10 Internet-connected PCs are infected with spyware and adware
Strictly defined, spyware consists of computersoftware that gathers and reports information about a computer user without the user's knowledge or consent. More broadly, the term spyware can refer to a wide range of related malware products which fall outside the strict definition of spyware. These products perform many different functions, including the delivery of unrequested advertising (pop-up ads in particular), harvesting private information, re-routing page requests to fraudulently claim commercial site referral fees, and installing stealth phone dialers.SpywareDefined
Many web browser toolbars may count as spyware.
Adware load ads from a server and displays them while you run a program, with your permission
Software developer gets ad revenue
User gets to use the program free of charge.
In these cases, adware functions ethically.
If the software collects personal information without permission (a list of websites visited, for example, or a log of keystrokes), it may become spyware.Spyware vs. Adware
Programs installed with your knowledge do not constitute spyware
Some legit software installs additional programs to collect data or distribute ads
These barnacles can:
Drastically impair system performance
Abuse network resources
Slow throughput/impede internet speed
Difficult or impossible to removeSpyware Barnacles
A common spyware program targeted at children, Bonzi Buddy, claims that:
He will explore the Internet with you as your very own friend and sidekick! He can talk, walk, joke, browse, search, e-mail, and download like no other friend you've ever had! He even has the ability to compare prices on the products you love and help you save money! Best of all, he's FREE!
Windows-based computers rapidly accumulate spyware components
Spyware infection (privacy issues aside) include:
Clean Install of Windows
Anti-virus products (Norton, McAfee, Trend Micro have lagged in responding to the threat of spyware because:
lop.com (advertising, pop ups, security risk, tries to dial out at random)
Generating pop-ups, damaging and/or slowing computers:
Gator, Claria Corporation (Ads, pop ups, privacy violation, significant security risk, partially disables firewalls, stability issues, hard to remove)
New.net (security risk, stability issues, common cause of inability to connect)
CoolWebSearch - a well-known browser hijacker; some variants have a reputation for damaging the TCP stack when forcibly uninstalled
Back Orifice (arguably better categorized as a Trojan Horse, since its open source code militates against secrecy and -- unlike most spyware -- it has no commercial motive. Also has legitimate uses such as remote administration.)
Masquarading as a Spyware remover:
Complete list here: http://www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyware.htm
Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Personal (http://www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download/#free) — (Freeware Version)
Aluria Software spyware removal (http://www.aluriasoftware.com) — Personal and business antispyware
HijackThis (http://merijn.org) (mirrors: 1 (http://spywareinfo.com/~merijn) 2 (http://184.108.40.206/~merijn/) 3 (http://ftp.officefive.org.uk/sites/www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/) 4 (http://www.richardthelionhearted.com/~merijn)) — offers utilities to remove several spyware problems which Ad-Aware or Spybot Search & Destroy cannot currently fix.
Hitman Pro (http://www.hitmanpro.nl) — A bundle of related spyware removal software, in Dutch.
Microsoft Anti-Spyware (http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx) — (Still in beta as of April 2005)
Spybot - Search & Destroy (http://www.safer-networking.org)
Spyware Doctor (http://www.pctools.com/spyware-doctor/)
Spy Toaster (http://www.spytoaster.com/)
www.forums.tomcoyote.org — Spyware removal help forum, and classroom to teach removal techniques
Google Spyware Removal Group (http://groups-beta.google.com/group/spyware-removal)
Bleeping Computer Spyware Removal Tutorials (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/tutecat38.html) — tutorials for HijackThis, Spybot, and Ad-Aware.
Geeks To Go (http://www.geekstogo.com/forum) — Hijack assistance and malware removal forum.
Spywareinfo Forums (http://forums.spywareinfo.com/index.php) — help for removing adware, spyware and malware.
SpywareWarrior (http://spywarewarrior.com/index.php) — forum that came under fire (http://www.netrn.net/archives2/000539.html) in May 2004 for posting information about a spyware company.
Spyware/AdWare/Malware FAQ and Removal Guide (http://www.io.com/~cwagner/spyware/)
doxdesk.com parasite database (http://www.doxdesk.com/parasite/) — Removal instructions for most common spyware/adware/malware parasites.
Computer Security (http://www.boredguru.com/modules/articles/index.php?storytopic=16) — Tips and tricks for manually removing common trojans, adware and spyware.
Rogue AntiSpyware List (http://www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyware.htm) — list of spyware removal programs to avoid
Financial investors who support spyware (http://www.benedelman.org/spyware/investors/) A list of investment firms which support large scale spyware companies.
Spyware Prevention and Removal (http://www.pcreview.co.uk/articles/Internet/Spyware_and_Adware_Removal/) How to prevent Spyware and Adware, and a guide to removing it should the worst happen.
Spyware Prevention (http://www.freespywareremoval.info/prevention/) Proactively preventing spyware.
Dealing with unwanted spyware and parasites (http://mvps.org/winhelp2002/unwanted.htm).
The Spyware Inferno (http://news.com.com/2010-1032-5307831.html) - article on the rise of spyware, with a hierarchical list of different kinds of spyware based on levels of danger.