Spyware Essay

5182 words - 21 pages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Spyware is software that aims to gather information about a person or organization without their knowledge and that may send such information to another entity without the consumer's consent, or that asserts control over a computer without the consumer's knowledge.[1]
"Spyware" is mostly classified into four types: system monitors, trojans, adware, and tracking cookies.[2] Spyware is mostly used for the purposes of tracking and storing Internet users' movements on the Web and serving up pop-up ads to Internet users.
Whenever spyware is used for malicious purposes, its presence is typically ...view middle of the document...

In German-speaking countries, spyware used or made by the government is sometimes called govware. Govware is typically a trojan horse software used to intercept communications from the target computer. Some countries like Switzerland and Germany have a legal framework governing the use of such software.[3][4] In the US, the term policeware has been used for similar purposes.[5]
* 1 Routes of infection
* 2 Effects and behaviors
* 3 Remedies and prevention
* 4 Comparison of spyware, adware, and viruses
* 5 Applications
* 6 Examples
* 7 History and development
* 8 Programs distributed with spyware
* 9 Rogue anti-spyware programs
* 10 Legal issues
* 11 See also
* 12 References
* 13 External links
* 14 Categories
Routes of infection[edit]

Malicious websites attempt to install spyware on readers' computers.
Spyware does not necessarily spread in the same way as a virus or worm because infected systems generally do not attempt to transmit or copy the software to other computers. Instead, spyware installs itself on a system by deceiving the user or by exploiting software vulnerabilities.
Most spyware is installed without users' knowledge, or by using deceptive tactics. Spyware may try to deceive users by bundling itself with desirable software. Other common tactics are using a Trojan horse. Some spyware authors infect a system through security holes in the Web browser or in other software. When the user navigates to a Web page controlled by the spyware author, the page contains code which attacks the browser and forces the download and installation of spyware.
The installation of spyware frequently involves Internet Explorer. Its popularity and history of security issues have made it a frequent target. Its deep integration with the Windows environment make it susceptible to attack into the Windows operating system. Internet Explorer also serves as a point of attachment for spyware in the form ofBrowser Helper Objects, which modify the browser's behavior to add toolbars or to redirect traffic.
Effects and behaviors[edit]
A spyware program is rarely alone on a computer: an affected machine usually has multiple infections. Users frequently notice unwanted behavior and degradation of system performance. 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.
In some infections, the spyware is not even evident. Users assume in those situations that the performance issues relate to faulty hardware, Windows installation problems, or another infection. Some owners of badly infected systems resort to contacting technical...

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