Spyware. History and Description

The first known use of the expression “spyware” occurred on October 17th, 1994 in a post that joked about Microsoft's business model. Spyware later came to allude to snoop equipment such as diminutive cameras. In early 2000, the man who started Zone Labs used the term in a press release for a new product. Since then, the computer-community has used the term in its current definition.

Spyware often comes wrapped-in with shareware or other software, and with music CDs. The user installs a program, for example, a file-trading utility or music program. The installer also installs the spyware. Even though the acceptable software itself may not do harm, the wrapped-in spyware does. Occasionally, spyware authors will pay shareware creators to wrap-in spyware with their software. An example is the Gator spyware distributed by Claria. There are instances when spyware authors will repackage desirable free software with destructive installers that add spyware.

Another way of propagating spyware is by tricking users. A program will manipulate a security feature that is supposed to prevent harmful installations. Internet Explorer is designed to stop websites from starting an unwanted download. Alternately, a user action must normally trigger a download (like clicking on a link). Nevertheless, links can prove misleading. For example, a pop-up may look like a normal Windows dialog box. The box contains wording like "Do you want to improve your Internet experience?" with links that look like real buttons reading No and Yes. It doesn’t matter which button the user selects, a malicious download will start, installing the spyware on the user's computer. Newer versions of Internet Explorer offer better security against this tactic.

Many unscrupulous spyware creators infect a computer by going after security weaknesses in the Web browser or in other applications on the targeted computer. When the user arrives at a Web site controlled by the spyware creator, the site includes code that forces the download and installation of spyware or infiltrates the browser. This kind of spyware creator will have broad knowledge of commercial-quality firewall and anti-virus programming. This is commonly known as a “drive-by download”. It leaves the user an unfortunate onlooker to the intrusion. Conventional "browser attacks" target security weaknesses in Microsoft Java Runtime and Internet Explorer.

Another problem in the case of some kinds of spyware programs is that they will replace the banner ads on visited web sites. Spyware that acts like a Browser Helper or web proxy can replace a site's own advertisements with advertisements that benefit the spyware author. This can seriously affect the revenue stream of advertising funded web sites.

There have been instances when a worm or virus has delivered a cargo of spyware. For example, some attackers used the W32.Spybot.Worm to set up spyware that caused pornographic ads to pop up on the screens of an infected system. By re-routing traffic to commercial sites that are set up to funnel funds to the spyware creators, they can profit even by such obviously illegal actions.

By: Leif Wheeler

Check Out the Related Article : Learn Why You Need To Remove Spyware From Your Computer

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The Spyware Threat: 5 Spyware Removal Tools

Spyware is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing threats on the internet. This is why spyware removal tools have become so popular. Some spyware can be as harmful as viruses and Trojans while others are relatively harmless to your computer. But all spyware programs track and send your internet surfing habits to a remote webmaster.

Spyware not only tracks your internet browsing but can affect the performance of your computer as well. If you have noticed that your computer is running slower than usual, you're receiving a lot of pop ups from one particular site, your home page has changed without your permission, or you are receiving a lot of spam mail from companies you haven’t visited yet and seem to know what you look for on the internet then you probably have some type of spyware program on your computer.

Webroot Spy Sweeper in a spyware removal tool. This spyware removal tool completely removes and destroys some of the nastiest spyware out there like Elite Keylogger, LOP, Trojan Backdoor-Haxdoor, and I Search Desktop. It also blocks installation of new spyware. If you're looking to remove some particularly hard spyware or root kits then you should check this one out.

If you're wanting a more name brand spyware removal tool then try the McAfee Anti Spyware. McAfee Anti Spyware can find and delete any potentially unwanted programs such as keyloggers, browser hijackers, web dialers, and adware. This spyware removal tool also detects and destroys spyware as it tries to launch or install itself on your computer.

Another spyware removal tool is the E Trust Pest Patrol Anti Spyware. This product will scan your PC and remove low level spyware. The E Trust Pest Patrol Anti Spyware also contains bug fixes, meaning it can quarantine and fix some of the bugs on your computer.

Primary Response Safe Connect is another of these spy ware removal tools. This spyware removal tool provides instant detection and removal of spyware without scanning. It also constantly updates to cover new threats automatically. Along with complete removal of all spyware programs it eliminates all traces of the malicious programs and prevents reinstallation.

Ashampoo Anti Spyware promises to protect your computer from more than 359,000 security threats. It continually monitors and protects your computer from such threats as spyware, adware and malware. This software is easy to run even though the scanning takes quite awhile.

Spyware can be harmful to your computer. Using Spyware removal tools can get rid of any spyware on your computer and stop the instillation of any further spyware programs. Because no spyware catches all of the spyware programs it’s best to use more than one spyware removal tool.

By: Guy Ray

Check Out the Related Article : Learn Why You Need To Remove Spyware From Your Computer

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