Archive for Spyware

Cyber-criminals gear up for a merry Christmas

As online shoppers gear up for a season of intensive spending in the run up to Christmas, online fraudsters are also preparing for their busiest time of the year.

Online shoppers spent nearly $10bn during the holiday season last year, 24 per cent more than in 2004, indicating a significant number people at risk.

Security company PC Tools, which specialises in detecting spyware and viruses, warned that shoppers should exercise caution when going to new internet sites to make purchases.

Consumers are advised to look for labels indicating that transactions are protected, and should make purchases from trusted providers if possible. Shoppers should never provide personal information in response to an email request.

“One in 10 holiday shoppers can expect some form of spyware, adware or other internet attack as they conduct transactions on the web,” said Michael Greene, vice president for product strategy at PC Tools.

“Many consumers are simply not aware that surfing the web can cause problems leading to identity theft or computer lock up.”

Greene added that holiday shopping is perfect for hackers who use spyware, key-loggers and phishing techniques to cull passwords and sensitive information from users.


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Spyware maker is threatening spyware detector with legal action

RetroCoder, maker of surveillance software SpyMon, wants SunBelt, maker of CounterSpy, to stop flagging Spymon as spyware. According to RetroCoder, SunBelt is in violation of the End User License Agreement (EULA) of SpyMon.

The EULA forbids its use by a researcher for an antivirus or anti-spyware company, or business related to these.

Further, the EULA continues with a legal condition: “If you do produce a program that will affect this software’s ability to perform its function, then you may have to prove in criminal court that you have not infringed this warning.”

RetroCoder claims that SunBelt broke this agreement; “In order to add our product to their list, they must have downloaded it and then examined it. These actions are forbidden by the notice”.

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Clean your computer from spyware with Ad-Aware

With the ability to scan your RAM, registry, hard drives, and external storage devices for known data-mining, advertising, and tracking components, Ad-aware SE easily can clean your system, allowing you to maintain a higher degree of privacy while you surf the Web.

Ad-aware SE Personal Edition boasts a number of improvements. Extended memory scanning now scans all modules loaded by a process. Scanning uses the all- new CSI (Code Sequence Identification) technology to identify new and unknown variants of known targets. Extended registry scanning now scans registry branches of multiple-user accounts and performs additional smart checks to detect dynamically created references. Scanning speed is noticeably faster, and this version offers an Extended Scanning mode for known and unknown/possible browser hijackers.

New in version 1.06: Disk-scan is approximately 30% faster. CSI scan is now more efficient. Added “Scan for low-risk threats” option, to scan for targets with low TAC index. Ad-Watch CSI engine performance highly improved; using less CPU and Memory as well as having a smaller footprint. GUI adapted to use the new TAC.

  • Scans fixed and removable drives, memory and Windows registry
  • Detects known and unknown variants of malware by using the Code Sequence Identification (CSI) technology
  • Removes aggressive spyware and malicious content
  • Takes advantage of a fully featured quarantine support
  • Logs information about scans and malicious content removals
  • Users of Ad-Aware Personal can efficiently remove behaviour-tracking spyware; thus protecting your privacy on the Internet
  • Enhances your computer’s performance by protecting against bandwidth stealing programs
  • Provides greater computer security by removing keyloggers and other programs which put passwords, credit card numbers, and other vulnerable data at risk online
  • Allows you to stay abreast of spyware, not just a step behind, thanks to the Code Sequence Identification (CSI) technology

Ad-Aware SE Personal is available free of charge.

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Global Spyware Pandemic

The threat of spyware continues to grow, according to the latest State of Spyware report issued by Webroot today.

The report claims that average home computer in the UK is infected with 18.1 instances of spyware, giving the UK the highest concentration of spyware infections in Europe, and puts it third on a global scale, behind the US, with 24.4 infections on average, and Thailand, with 18.7.

The survey showed that an average of 72 per cent of home computers were infected, down sequentially from the previous quarter’s 83 per cent and last year’s high of 92 per cent.

Calling the problem a global pandemic, Webroot notes that 48% of enterprise PCs are infected with adware. Although the actual percentage of infected PCs has, according to Webroot, has remained roughly stable, the scale of the infections has grown. The company found that the average enterprise PC had 3.9 adware infections in the third quarter of this year, up from 3.6 in the previous quarter.

Webroot Software State of Spyware report

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Phishing attack targets Google

Internet security firm Websense is warning surfers to be on guard for a phishing e-mail that pretends to be from Google alerting recipients that they have won $400.

The e-mail directs users to a spoofed copy of Google’s site, where “winners” are prompted to click on another link to claim their prize money. The next page asks the visitor to enter their credit card number and shipping address.

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