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Spyware By: Donny Gray Katrina Winters DeondrickPina Alex Napper
History • The word 'spyware' was used for the first time publicly in October 1995. • It popped up on Usenet (a distributed Internet discussion system in which users post e-mail like messages) in an article aimed at Microsoft's business model.
What is Spyware • Spyware refers to programs that use your Internet connection to send information from your personal computer to some other computer, normally without your knowledge or permission. • This information is a record of your ongoing browsing habits, downloads, or it could be more personal data like your name and address.
How it infects your computer • Most spyware is installed without users' knowledge. • Spyware gets on a system through deception of the user or through exploitation of software vulnerabilities. • Most of the time it is bundled with some sort of other software that the user has downloaded.
Effects and Behaviors • A spyware infestation can create significant unwanted CPU activity, disk usage, and network traffic. • Stability issues, such as applications freezing, failure to boot, and system-wide crashes, are also common. • Spyware, which interferes with networking software commonly causes difficulty connecting to the Internet.
Types • Some types of spyware disable software firewalls and anti-virus software, and/or reduce browser security settings, thus opening the system to further opportunistic infections, much like an immune deficiency disease. • Some other types of spyware use rootkit like techniques to prevent detection, and thus removal.
Remedies and Prevention • Spyware is still changing, meaning remedies can vary from different types of spyware. • If programs do not work to rid the computer of the infected then a full system reinstall would be needed. • Most big anti-virus firms have added anti-spyware to their anti-virus packages. (Such as Macafeeand Symantec)
There are two things an anti-spyware program can do to protect you. 1. They can provide real time protection against the installation of spyware software on your computer. 2. Anti-spyware software programs can be used solely for detection and removal of spyware software that has already been installed onto your computer.
Examples of Spyware Programs • CoolWebSearch • Internet Optimizer • HuntBar • Movieland • MyWebSearch • Zango • WeatherStudio
Examples of Anti-Spyware Programs • Ad-Aware SE • Spybot - Search & Destroy • GIANT AntiSpyware • AVG Anti-Spyware Professional Edition