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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Important Info Related to the Computer parasites & Worms part1

pc spyware
What is spyware?

Spyware is software that is capable of performing certain operations on your computer without your consent, such as displaying advertisements, collecting your personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer.

Other types of unwanted software can alter to your computer with results ranging from minor annoyances to causing your computer to slow down or crash. These programs have the ability to change your Web browser's home page or search page, or add additional components to your browser you may not need or want. These programs also make it very difficult for you to change your settings back to the way you originally had them. These types of unwanted programs are often labeled as spyware.


What is adware?
Adware is software that displays advertisements. This does not mean that any software that provides advertisements or tracks your on-line activities is adware. For example, you may install a free ad-supported version of software, and you "pay" for the service by agreeing to receive targeted advertisements. If you understand the terms and agree to them, you may have decided that it is a fair tradeoff. You may also have agreed to let the company track your online activities to determine which advertisements to show you. To avoid installing adware if you do not wish to "pay" for the service by receiving targeted advertisements, we recommend that you carefully read the software's Terms of Use and End User License Agreement.

What is malware?

Malware, or malicious software, is designed specifically to damage your machine or interrupt the normal computing environment. A trojan horse, worm or virus could be classified as malware. Some advertising software can be malicious by trying to re-install itself after you have removed it.

What is parasiteware?

Parasiteware is the term for any adware that by default overwrites certain affiliate tracking links. These tracking links are used by webmasters to sell products and to help fund websites. The controversy is centered on companies like WhenU, eBates, and Top Moxie, popular makers of adware applications. These companies release their software to assist users in getting credit for rebates, cash back shopping, or contributions to funds. To the end user, parasiteware represents little in the way of a security threat.

What is a page hijacker?

Hijacker is an application that attempts to take control of the user's homepage and replace it with one that the hijacker chooses. It is a low security threat, but is annoying. Most hijackers use stealth techniques or trick dialog boxes to perform installation.

Browser hijackers commonly do one or more of the following:

Changes your "search" page and passes all searches to a pay-per-search site
Changes your default home page to the company page. Sometimes the software changes them to a portal featuring porn sites
May transmit URLs viewed toward the company server

What is a dialer?

A dialer is a type of software used by pornographic vendors. Once dialer software is downloaded, the user is disconnected from his/her modem's usual Internet service provider, is connected to another phone number and is then billed. While dialers do not spy on users they are malevolent in nature because they can cause huge financial harm to the victim.

What is a browser plugin?

A plugin is a software program that extends the capabilities of your Internet browser in a specific way. Not all browser plugins are harmful and some may be helpful. This category contains mostly dubious browser plugins such as "Search Assistant", toolbars, etc. that have been known to transmit user data to their creators or have been installed using covert means.

What is a commercial keylogger?

Commercial keylogger is a program designed to monitor user activity. It may be used with or without consent. Since it is sold commercially, most anti-virus vendors do not detect it.

What is a commercial network management tool?

A commercial network management tool is mostly used in (large) corporations. It can log the network traffic passively (sniffing) or examine the logs of proxies, etc. Nothing is installed on the individual computers, the software runs on a central server. They can only log items that pass through the network, but not local items such as the entered passwords, keystrokes or screenshots.

What is a data miner?

A data miner's primary function is to gather data about an end user. Some adware applications may employ data mining abilities.

What is a loyaltyware?

Loyaltyware is a sub-form of adware. Loyaltyware is a type of software that works around the concept of user loyalty by providing incentives in the form of cash, points, airline miles, or other type of goods while shopping.

What is a remote administration tool?

A remote administration tool is a tool designed to be used by network administrators to remotely control a computer on the network, usually for support or inventory purposes. It may be used for spying purposes.

What is a worm?

A worm is a virus-like program that spreads automatically to other computers by distributing itself via email or other means. A worm spreads itself by attacking other machines and copying itself to the affected machine. Both worms and viruses are self-replicating codes that travel from machine to machine by various means. Both worms and viruses have, as their first objective, merely propagation. Both can be destructive, depending on what payload, if any, they have been given. There are some differences in that worms may replace files, but do not insert themselves into files, while viruses insert themselves into files, but do not replace them.

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