FAQ About Spyware And Spyware Security
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Thread: FAQ About Spyware And Spyware Security

  1. #1
    King Arana: Super Moderator
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    FAQ About Spyware And Spyware Security

    Greeting's AOer's. This tutorial is going to be about Spyware/Adware and what it is, how to prevent yourself from getting it, detection/elimination, etc. So let's get started with a definition.

    What Is Spyware?

    Spyware (as defined by a glossary or two) is a general term for a program that surreptitiously monitors your actions. While they are sometimes sinister, like a remote control program used by a hacker, software companies have been known to use spyware to gather data about customers. The practice is generally frowned upon. Spyware can also be defined as:

    * A technology that assists in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge. On the Internet, "spyware is programming that is put in someone's computer to secretly gather information about the user and relay it to advertisers or other interested parties." As such, spyware is cause for public concern about privacy on the Internet.

    * (From Noadware.com): Spyware and Adware is software made by publishers that allow them to snoop on your browsing activity, invade your privacy, and flood you with those horrible popups. If you are like most users on the internet, chances are you are probably infected with these applications. That is why we have designed our revolutionary product.

    Where Can I Get Spyware?

    Sadly, you can get these type of program's and application's from just about anwhere online. Where you would get trojan's and viruses, you would now get spyware as well. It could come from a simple e-mail attachment, to a popup from your browser or a website, to even your IM profile's. Thus said, spyware could be recieved in almost any matter a trojan or virus could be recieved.

    What Can/Does Spyware Do To My System?

    Now alot of people wonder, "Well, what exactly does it do?". Now, some spyware is simply an annoyance that can easily be ignored or deleted from your system. However, some spyware application's are meant to get password's from you or even certain information/data that you might not want to give out. That's usually the case, however certain link's to spyware-injected website's (IM Spyware) linkn you to a website and have a certain script or spyware code in the website itself designed to cause a problem for your system. Again, spyware is more of an annoyance than anything else and isn't AS malicious as viruses are. (Although some spyware can link you to a trojan or a virus)

    What Are Some Step's I Can Take To Protect Myself?

    There are a number of simple, logical step's one can take to avoid these hazard's:

    * Don't open e-mail attachment's from people you don't know, especially companies "offering" something that might catch your attention.

    * Don't download a program/application unless it's from the vendor's direct site. Doing otherwise can risk having someone inject a spyware application (or a trojan/virus for that matter) into the program.

    * Use a pop-up blocker when browsing the net.

    * When on IM application's, do not click on link's that are given to you by people you don't know. Even if you know them, it could still be dangerous so be sure the link doesn't connect you to a malicious site.

    * The old saying "If it sound's too good to be true, it probably is" applies in this category. Live by that rule.

    * Don't trust p2p application's. This can be said for viruses/trojan's as well, but some p2p application's itself let alone the downloads are spyware app's.

    What Are Some Tool's That Can Detect/Eliminate Spyware?

    There are a number of effective tool's that can help scan, detect, and eliminate spyware. Here are some link's to the most commonly used and effective detection/removal tool's:

    Lavasoft Ad-aware: http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/

    NoAdware: http://web1.noadware.net/new/

    Hijackthis: http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html

    Well, that about wrap's this tutorial up. Hopefully some user's will now know/understand Spyware/Adware and will protect themselve's better from it. Anyway's, thanks for reading!
    Space For Rent.. =]

  2. #2
    PHP/PostgreSQL guy
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    Very good introduction to spyware...(interestingly enough, by a guy who's name is SPYder32? haha!)

    I hope this helps out people because the media, from all its "best efforts" have done nothing to really educate a home user about spyware, the true nature of cookies (remember when THAT was a big issue?), etc.

    I live and die by Lavasoft's Ad-Aware and have been with them for the past 3+ years, back when they still had "games" on their main site.

    Coupled with Ad-Aware (updated of course) and switching from IE to Firefox or Opera, I don't think an average home user would have 1/10th the normal spyware that infests their machine even with normal usage. When the google toolbar came out, it was great, but ONLY for those who used IE. Firefox and Opera both have default search engines set to Google and you can add more AND they have an integrated popup blocker (the best of which I think is Opera's because you can have "only requested" popups, which include login prompts, etc..just the way I like it!

    Home users, take heed, hehe...unfortunately, in this day and age with no legislation against those that have spyware as part of their product (will someone PLEASE tell me where Gator/Claria is HQ'd?!) and with overseas servers hosting a plethora of crap that propogates regularly, it would be very wise and prudent to get very used to daily scans both AV and Spyware related.
    We the willing, led by the unknowing, have been doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do just about anything with almost nothing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Just a note about NoAdware, and with all due respect, it's not all that it has cracked up to be.

    false positives used as goad to purchase; flagged by Ad-aware as "scam" (1); company has advertised with known CWS sites & Netpalnow.com; has used aggressive, deceptive advertising (1, 2, 3); has exploited names of "spybot" and "ad-aware" (1); uses same db/defs as SpyBan, Spyware C.O.P., & SpywareKilla
    Found Here...

    Otherwise, quite a nice tut.

  4. #4
    Where's the credit to NemorY for givin you the idea for writing this ?

    well, anyways, very good for a 20 minutes tut

  5. #5
    PHP/PostgreSQL guy
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    Originally posted here by NemorY
    Where's the credit to NemorY for givin you the idea for writing this ?

    well, anyways, very good for a 20 minutes tut
    Hehe, oh come now, spyware tutorials shouldn't have to credit a single person for the "idea" of writing one...it's so prevalent, it's like antivirus, the word couldn't be spread around enough!
    We the willing, led by the unknowing, have been doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do just about anything with almost nothing.

  6. #6
    King Arana: Super Moderator
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    Very good introduction to spyware...(interestingly enough, by a guy who's name is SPYder32? haha!)
    Heh, thanks. And yeah, that is kinda ironic, isn't it?

    I live and die by Lavasoft's Ad-Aware
    As do I. I think it's great and has detected many of application's I never would have thought as well as processes and whatnot. Very good at detecting spyware IMO and I think no user should be without it.

    Where's the credit to NemorY for givin you the idea for writing this ?
    Aww, sorry if I forget the little people I step on to get to where I am haha, just kidding. Thanks for giving me the idea man. And thanks, even though it was more like 30 minute's.
    Space For Rent.. =]

  7. #7
    1337 n00b kryptonic's Avatar
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    Nice FAQ it helped with some of my questions.
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  8. #8
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    1st paragraph http://www.kirupa.com/k2/Feb2004/security3.htm
    2nd paragraph http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/unwanted.htm

    Much of the rest is too poorly written to be plagerized (anwhere, linkn,recieved and poor grammar) the last 18 lines make sense though and are good advice.
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    The international ban against torturing prisoners of war does not necessarily apply to suspects detained in America\'s war on terror, Attorney General John Ashcroft told a Senate oversight committee
    -- true colors revealed, a brown shirt and jackboots

  9. #9
    King Arana: Super Moderator
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    lumpyporridge: Glad to see your Anti-Spyder campaign is still up and running. Unfourtunately for you, I mentioned my source:

    Spyware (as defined by a glossary or two)
    I was merely copying out of my "Internet Glossary Handbook" which I used as a glossary to help define what it is. I stated that it came out of a glossary. Interestingly enough, the second link's information was also in the same Glossary, used as second reference. However a quick google search will show that it is from a couple of site's, therefore a few site's plagarized it as another's material. Mine came out of my handbook which I stated, as well as I stated the third reference.

    Much of the rest is too poorly written to be plagerized (anwhere, linkn,recieved and poor grammar)
    Thanks My poor grammar must have gotten through though, as many have said I helped answer a few question's and helped them learn more. But sure.

    the last 18 lines make sense though and are good advice.
    Thank you, that I also did (go and search for it, geez seem's like your on a campaign against me, but k). Glad to hear it's good advice. Anyways, I understand I screwed up once and all and that was taken care of with MsMittens/Negative. However none of my tutorials (the three on AO) are plagarized. I quoted the source (however should have done so more directly in this one I suppose although it's origin was a book) but not directly .
    Space For Rent.. =]

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