Don Davidson Computer

Spyware - Adware - Malware Partial Alphabetized List below

Spyware Threat Continues to Grow

Every week, we get reader mail about spyware. According to many experts, the term spyware first came into use with its current meaning - software that transmits information back "home" to its creator or perpetrator without the user's permission, and often without the user's knowledge - sometime around 1999. It has grown into one of the four biggest "malware" (malicious software) threats to computers worldwide, along with viruses, trojans and worms. 

Many legitimate programs transmit information for purposes that are useful to the user. For example, Windows sends information about errors back to Microsoft to help the company troubleshoot and fix the problems that cause the errors. Key characteristics of malicious spyware is that its makers go out of the way to disguise its nature (for example, installing it along with other, legitimate programs) and usually don't provide users with a way to turn it off or easily uninstall it. 

So what are the dangers of spyware? First, it can bring system performance to a crawl. Most spyware installs itself configured to start whenever you boot the computer and run all the time. It not only steals your system resources but also your Internet bandwidth, thus not only slowing down the computer on which it's installed but also potentially slowing network performance for other computers on the same network. It can also cause your system to become unstable and crash. 

Spam bots, keyloggers, kiddie porn connect with major adware companies – 180solutions, Direct Revenue, SurfSidekick, BullsEye Network and ShopAtHomeSelect installed in conjunction with a spam zombie and rogue anti-spyware program, all of which started from a child porn site and were installed through an exploit. See List Below

However, the danger that worries most people more is invasion of privacy. Spyware programs can collect all sorts of data off your computer to send back to its maker. Usually it's information that can be used for advertising/marketing analysis, such as what Web sites you visit frequently. However, there is the potential for spyware programs to gather almost any information stored on your computer, including financial/credit card information and personal ID information (for the purpose of identity theft), e-mail addresses of your contacts (for spamming purposes) and so forth. 

And it's getting worse. The latest way to infest computers with spyware is through a bot net. That's a group of computers that have been infected with "agent" or "bot" (short for "robot") software and work together to launch attacks on other computers. These bot nets have recently started focusing more and more on installing spyware programs on the targeted victim computers.

The most common are Bargain Buddy, GAIN, b3d projector, Gator, n-Case, SaveNow, Search Toolbar, Webhancer, and Search Assistant. From difficult-to-uninstall toolbars to home-page hijackers and pop-up window generators.

Most promoters of Spyware or Adware say they are not doing anything wrong because when you agree to the terms or service or the EULA. It states that you will be providing this information to theses companies.
Some people don't mind being a nameless statistics generator. But sometimes these programs can lead to problems with your computer, and can even compromise security.

All of these programs will store files on your computer. From a few cookies to .dll files and registry entries installed on your computer. Spyware is like any other program on your computer. When running, it uses your system memory, and processor to keep it running, taking away precious resources from other, more important programs!

Much or even most spyware comes from consumers installing 'free' content or software that they shouldn't. Be careful of "FREE".

Some of the above
content from WXPnews

What is (and isn't) spyware, anyway?

I think my visitors may find Michaels blog below useful.
Malicious Software Removal Instructions & Computer Security Tips
Michael for the link.

Removal Tools Below Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products (Link)
Executables Searchable Spyware Database (Link)
Here is an in depth list (Link)
What is Malware Viruses, Worms, Trojan horses, Malicious mobile code, and Tracking cookies
Spyware & Adware - How the Bad Guys Profit A turn in the antispyware war?
Faces of Malware  

Below is a partial list of online data collectors. Spyware & Malware This list is the most common spyware and by far not a complete list. New spyware/adware is coming out every week.

Known Spyware list in alphabetical order
O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #s


100% Word Search Free®
3d Anarchy®
3D Frog Man Demo®
3D Maze Man Demo®
3D-FTP® 3rd block®

Abe's FTP Client®
Abe's Image Viewer®
Abe's MP3 Finder®
Abe's Picture Finder®
Abe's SMB Client®
Absolute Yukon Solitaire®
Access Diver III®
Aces and Kings Solitaire®
Acorn Email®
ActionOutline Light 1.6®
Active 'Net®
Add URL®
(Thanks Spike)
Add/Remove Plus!®
Add/Remove Plus!®
Address Rover 98®
Admiral VirusScanner®
Advanced Call Center®
Advanced Maillist Verify®
Alchemist Demo®
Alive and Kicking®
AlphaScape QuickPaste®

AntiVirus 2008
A rogue anti-malware program that displays false results and requires you to first purchase the software before you can remove anything. When installed, Antivirus 2008 will scan your computer and list a variety of infections found on your computer. Results are fake and they are just trying to scam you into purchasing the software.
Free Tool Needed for this fix:

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Appload Notify®
(Thanks Spike)
Aurora by Direct Revenue

Identified as High Threat by ParaLogic''s XoftSpy 4.12
VENDOR: Attune
Data Miner
OBJECT: Software\Aveo
DANGER High Threat.

(Thank you Jim C.)

Auction Explorer®
Aureate Group Mail®
Aureate SpamKiller®
AutoUpdater aupdate.exe Aupdate
Aztec Marketing

Balloon Pop Demo®
Banner Crafter®
Bargain Buddy
Binary Boy®
Bingo Demo®
Bingo Master Demo®
Blast Thru Demo®
Blue Engine®
BookSmith : Original®
Bonzi Buddy
buddyPhone 2®
Business Letter Punch®

Calypso E-mail®
Capture Express 2000®
Cascoly Screensaver®
Charity Banner®
Chat PicPluck®
Cheat Machine®
Check & Get®
Chinese Checkers Demo®
Clabra clipboard viewer®
Classic Peg Solitaire®
CoffeeCup Free HTML®
(Thanks Spike)
  (Remover Here!) You want to go to the download page and get CWShredder.exe  (or HERE for instant download)


ComTry Music Downloader®
Comet Cursor
Connect ?®
Crazy Drake Demo®
Crazy Puzzle Demo®
Crystal FTP®
CSE HTML Validator Lite®
CS Telnet®
Cursor Maker®
CuteFTP 3.0®
CuteFTP 3.0 beta®
Cydoor Desktop Media
(Thanks Spike)

Danzig Pref Engine®
DB to HTML Express®
Dcads Toolbar (remove) Thanks I. Yung
Debt Relief®
Delphi Component Test®
Delphi Tester®
Develop Critical Thinking Skills®
Dialer 2000®
DigiBand NewsWatch®
DigiCams - WebCam Viewer®
Digital Postman®
Digital Postman®
Direct Revenue's Aurora
DL-Mail Pro 2000®
Doorbell 1.18®
dotCool Builder®
Download Minder 1.5®
Download Wonder®
DownLoader v.1.1® (browser hijack)

DVD Rip N' Burn (Installs Ebates Moe MoneyMaker)

Dweebs Demo®

Ebates Moe MoneyMaker
Displays pop-up advertisements and disables programs, including pop-up blockers that might interfere with its operation. Can be hard to remove!

EmmaSoft ChatCat®
EmmaSoft dBrow®
EmmaSoft KeepLan®
EmmaSoft Soundz®
(Thanks Spike)
Extreme Animals Demo®
Extreme Bugs Demo®
Extreme Dinosaurs Demo®
Extreme Orchids Demo®
EZ-Forms FREE®

FavoriteMan (Thanks Joey S.)
File Mag-Net®
File Sniffer®
(Thanks Spike)
Folder Guard Jr.®
Free Picture Harvester®
Free Solitaire®
Free Solitaire®
Free Spades®
Free Submitter Pro®

Galactic Invasion Demo®
Galaxy of 3D TetriMania Demo®
Gardener Demo®
Garret Demo®
GSim (Removal here) Thanks Brenda M.
GetRight Demo®
Glowing Bugs Demo®
GoHip - Useless Browser extension
Go!Zilla WebAttack®
Grammar Fitness Suite®
(Thanks Spike)
Gunther's PasswordSentry®

hesci Private Label®
Hexx Wars II®
Home Buyer's Calculator Suite®
HTML Translator®
HTTP Proxy-Spy®
Huey v1.8 Color Picker®
Hotbar Spyware? Read This
Huntbar (Hunt Bar) See Below

Iban Technologies IP Tools 3.1®
iClicks Internet
Idyle GimmIP®
Idyle GimmIP®
iFind Graphics®
(Thanks Rene C.)
I-Lookup search bar
Image Carousel®
Image Site Grabber®
Incredimail ? Text from users here
Infinite Patience®
Intergalactic Exterminator Demo®
Internet Tree®
InterWebWord Companion®

JFK Research®
JOC Email Checker®
JOC Web Finder®
JOC Web Spider®

KVT Diplom®

LapLink FTP®
Lexicon Demo®
Link Crafter®
LineSoft Download®
Live Antispy (Try RogueRemover)
Loan Calculator Plus®
LOL Chat®
LookToMe (Uninstaller)
Ludo Safari Demo®

Mahjongg Master 2 Demo®
Mail Them®
Meracl FontMap®
Meracl ImageMap Generator®
Midnight Oil Solitaire®
Mindset Interactive
(Thanks Spike)
Mini Golf Demo®
MirNik Internet Finder®
More Space 99®
MP3 Album Finder®
MP3 Album Finder®
MP3 Fiend®
MP3 Grouppie®
MP3 Mag-Net®
MP3 Renamer®
Mp3 Stream Recorder®
Mr. Cool®
Music Genie®
MX Inspector BIG AD®
My Genie Patriots®
My Genie SE®
My GetRight®
My Search Bar (MySearch variant)
MyWay Speed Bar (MyWay)
 or 'My Web Search Bar' (MyWeb)
(Thank you Resclydes)

N-Case (Removal)
Nebula Fighter Demo®
Net CB®
Net Scan 2000®
Net Vampire®
Net-A-Car Feature Car ScreenSaver®
Netbus Pro 2.10®
NetCaptor 5.0®
Netman Downloader®
NetSuck 3.10.5®
NetTime Thingy®
Network Assistant®
NeuroStock® Remove
(Thanks Spike)
Notificator 1.0b®

Of The Day Quizzer®
(Thanks Spike)
Oxide Demo®

Paragraph Punch®
Patriot Slots®
Pattern Book®
People Seek 98®
PerformanceOptimizer (about)
 is a misleading application that
 reports false errors on the computer. 

Personal Auction Track®
Personal Search Agent®
Personal Stock Monitor SE®
Pictures In News®
Ping Thingy®
Powerzip 2000 Lite®
ProtectX 3®
Puzzle Master Demo®

Quadzle Puzzles®
QuikLink Autobot®
QuikLink Explorer®
QuikLink Explorer Gold Edition®

RahJongg Demo®
Raptor Call of the Shadows Demo®
Real Estate Web Site Creator®
Recipe Review®
ReGet 1.6®
Resume Detective®
RoboCam 1.10®
Rosemary's Weird Web World®
RubberDuck H30+®

SaberQuest Page Burner®
SafeNet Mail®
Scout's Game®
ScreenFIRE - FileKing®
Sea Battle®
Servedby (Thanks Berle J.)
Shakespeare Punch®
ShortKeys Lite®
Simple Submit®
SimpleSubmit v1.0®
Simplicity Personal Organizer®
Site Select®
SL4 Historical Montage®
Smart 'n Sticky®
SmartBoard 200 FREE Edition®
SmartDoc 3.0®
SmartSum calculator®
SmitFraud (Removal)
 Most of the time, it installs itself after the
 computer user installs a fake codec.

Thanks Curtis)
Sonic Mail®
Sound Agent®
Space Central Screen Saver®
Speedy Eggbert Demo®
Splash! Siterave®
SpyAxe (Bad one!)
Spy-Shield (this is fraudulent!)
Star Miner Demo®
Static FTP®
StayOn Pro®
Stock Profit Spread Calculator 32®
SunEdit 2K®
Superball Challenge Demo®
Surf Saver®
System Agent®

TetriMania Master Demo®
Text Transmogrifier®
The Mapper®
Time Zone Converter®

Toolbar programs such as Google Toolbar and Yahoo Toolbar are considered adware. That's why they are free.

Tools 3.1®
Total Finger®
Total Whois®
Tracking The Eye®
Trade Site Creator®
Trade Trakker®
Tray Note Plus®
TS-Image Mapper®
Tunnel Blaster Demo®
TWinExplorer Standard®
TypeWriter 1.0®

UK Phone Codes®

Vagabond's Realm®
Vertigo QSearch®
Virtual Access®
(Thanks Joey S.)
VirtuMonde (Removal)
Is an adware program that downloads and
 displays popup advertisements

 (Thanks Curtis)
Visual Cyberadio®
Visual Surfer®
VOG Backgammon Main®
VOG Backgammon Table®
VOG Chess Main®
VOG Chess Table®
VOG Reversi Main®
VOG Reversi Table®
VOG Shell®
VOG Shell History®

War Demo®
Weather Bug
(Thanks Spike)
(Thanks Spike)
Web-Cam VCR®
Web Coupon®
(Thanks Spike)
Web Page Authoring Software®
Web Registrant PRO®
Web Resume®
Web SurfACE®
Website Manager®
WebType® (Installed by ActiveX drive-by-download to victims clicking links to the OutWar online game, and by the 'crackz' sites and
(Thanks Spike)
Whitehouse Mambo Parody®
WhizFolders Organizer®
Wild Tangent: For information on the Wild Tangent programs visit this site. For Wild Tangent’s own removal instructions visit this page.
WhoIs Thingy®
Win A Lotto®
WinEdit 2000®
WinFixer 2005 (Not WinFix)
Wintools Popups galore! Search Registry in Safe Mode - Delete ALL! (If can't delete, allow permissions.)
Word Connect Demo®
Word Search Mania Demo®
WorldChat Client®
Writing about Reading®
Writing for Business®®

Xupiter Toolbar - IE toolbar add-on that contains links to the search engine. It runs at startup, delivers pop-up and pop-under ads, and periodically hijacks your browser homepage. It changes users' designated homepages to, redirects all searches to Xupiter's site, and blocks any attempts to restore the original browser settings. Its adware also tries to phone home, attempting to log you on to the Net periodically.
Run the
Xupiter uninstall utility.

XP Antivirus 2008 - Counterfeit antispyware Pop-ups warning you of a bogus infection.
Can be difficult to remove - We've had success with Spybot and AVG version 8 or above.

Your ESP Test®

zango search assistant (Thanks nascar fanatic)

Zip Express 2000®



If you know of any Spyware to add to this small collection, please email me and I will check it out and add it to the list.
Thanks, Don



Get rid of spyware installed on your system! (A good place to start)
These following free programs search your system for spyware, advertisement, and cookies installed on your computer.

Spybot Search & Destroy

Ad-Aware / Download Here

From Microsoft
Auto Updates and Scans

Windows Defender

from the
(and Thank You Chris)
Here is an in depth list

File Name ----------------------Description

mwsoemon.exe ----------MyWebSearch toolbar 
webrebates1.exe --------TopRebates hijacker/adware 
webrebates0.exe --------TopRebates hijacker/adware 
wtoolsa.exe ---------------HuntBar spyware 
wsup.exe ------------------HuntBar spyware 
gmt.exe --------------------Gator adware 
cmesys.exe ---------------Gator adware 
wtoolss.exe ---------------HuntBar spyware 
optimize.exe --------------MoneyTree Dialer 
bargains.exe -------------Bargain Buddy 
save.exe -------------------WhenU SaveNow adware 
msbb.exe -----------------180Solutions adware 
actalert.exe ---------------MoneyTree Dialer 
istsvc.exe ------------------IST adware/hijacker 
asm.exe --------------------Brilliant Digital Spyware 
syncroad.exe --------------Evil x 2.0 
precisiontime.exe -------Gator adware 
autoupdate.exe ----------Apropos Media adware 
nls.exe ----------------------Navisearch / TopRebates 
vvsn.exe --------------------WhenU ClockSync 
dmserver.exe -------------Comet Download Manager 
updmgr.exe ----------------KeenValue spyware 
winsync.exe ----------------Evil-X 
hbinst.exe ------------------Hotbar adware/spyware 
sync.exe --------------------WhenU Adware

From WXPNews

What is (and isn't) spyware, anyway?

"Computer users are all up in arms about spyware - and rightfully so. Programs that install themselves on your computer without your permission, and then surreptitiously report information about you and/or your system back to someone else over the Internet are scary, and can be downright dangerous. That information could include things such as your credit card numbers, bank account numbers, passwords and other data that can be used to steal your identity and/or your money.

In its recent annual study, CompTIA concluded that spyware has become the number one security threat for the business organizations they surveyed - winning out over viruses and worms and browser-based attacks. Over half of those surveyed noted that the amount of spyware has grown over the last year.

Any effort to address the spyware problem, however, has to start with defining exactly what it is - and this is where industry pundits and even anti-spyware vendors part company. Spyware extremists even accuse Windows of being spyware, because it sends crash reports and validation information to Microsoft servers. Others see every cookie installed on your hard drive by a web site as spyware, because cookies interact with the site when you go there again.

In fact, if your definition of spyware includes all software that connects back to its "mothership" over the Internet, then you're talking about the vast majority of computer programs used today. Anti-spyware programs themselves, like anti-virus programs, must periodically connect to their servers to download definitions databases so they have the latest information about the malware that's out there and can recognize it when it tries to install itself on your computer.

Many of these programs also send information they gather from your computer about the malicious software they find there, to compile statistics and help increase protection for all their customers. Does this mean anti-spyware programs are spyware? Of course not.

There are two key factors in defining real spyware: the information it collects is used for malicious purposes, and/or it's done without your knowledge or permission. When you install Windows, you accept a EULA that states you give permission for certain information, such as validation information, to be collected from your computer. As for crash reports, Windows asks permission each time before sending them, and you can turn them off altogether if you want.

What about cookies? These are bits of text that are placed on your computer by a web site and then sent back to the web site's server every time you go to that site. You can disable cookies in most web browsers, but you might not be able to access some web sites if you do. Unlike true spyware, cookies aren't programs and don't do anything to your computer.

But these differing definitions of spyware lead to some interesting situations. In particular, some anti-spyware programs identify cookies as spyware and others don't. We've heard from computer users who say CounterSpy isn't a good anti-spyware program because they ran it and then ran another anti-spyware program and it "found all kinds of spyware that CounterSpy didn't find." In most cases, all that "spyware" turns out to be cookies. In other cases, the other program was detecting a harmless registry key that it identified as belonging to spyware, even though there were no corresponding executable files capable of committing malicious acts.

Quoting a Sunbelt Software executive: "The bottom line is that running one spyware product after another, then attempting to draw grand conclusions from such anecdotal evidence isn't a useful exercise. I can take any two products, run them any which way, and one will usually detect something that the others didn't. Even still, that tells you nothing about either of the products. The only tests that can tell you something meaningful about the products are those conducted in controlled environments with a well-defined methodology against a statistically significant number of samples."

So the value or efficacy of an anti-spyware product can't be measured by the sheer volume of spyware it claims to have found, if some of those items it detected aren't spyware at all. To be effective, an anti-spyware program must not only guard against false negatives (that is, allowing spyware to go undetected) but must also guard against false positives (identifying something as "spyware" that really isn't). The same goes for anti-virus, anti-spam and other security-related products."

HuntBar... a Parasite

HuntBar is a toolbar providing searching features, which is added to every Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer window. 
It also changes your home page and search bar settings to point to HuntBar's servers, and automatically opens this search bar when it detects you using any other search engine. 

Through ActiveX drive-by-download at affiliate sites, possibly in pop-up advertising. 
TrafficSyndicate, the makers of HuntBar, offer 'co-branded' versions of HuntBar which may be installed by other sites under a different name. 

What it does
Privacy violation
HuntBar sends the domain name of the site being viewed, the domain name of any site previously being viewed and the title and any keywords in the current page to its controlling servers whenever a new site is viewed. It does this even if the toolbar is not turned on. 
However, it does not (currently) use a cookie or unique ID to track visits across sites.
Security issues
Yes. HuntBar can silently download and execute arbitrary code, as an update feature. 
Stability problems
None known.

TrafficSyndicate offer two removal programs. (Also try Spybot. I've had recent success removing Huntbar with this program)

Ad-Aware cannot yet remove this parasite. 

Manual removal 
HuntBar stores its code in a folder called 'MSIETS' inside the 'Common Files' folder in 'Program Files'. Before you can delete it, you must deregister its DLLs. There will be one called 'msiets.dll', and, if HuntBar has been running long enough to download some updates, probably also 'msielink.dll'. If you don't have msielink.dll you will only have to use the first of the two following commands. 

Open a DOS command prompt window from Start->Programs->Accessories, and enter the commands. For Windows XP, 2000 or NT: 

regsvr32 /u "C:\Program Files\Common Files\MSIETS\msiets.dll" 
regsvr32 /u "C:\Program Files\Common Files\MSIETS\msielink.dll" 

Or for Windows 95, 98 or Me: 
"%WinDir%\SYSTEM\regsvr32.exe" /u "C:\Program Files\Common Files\MSIETS\msiets.dll" 
"%WinDir%\SYSTEM\regsvr32.exe" /u "C:\Program Files\Common Files\MSIETS\msielink.dll" 

You will need to change the path 'C:\Program Files\Common Files' in the above commands if your Program Files are on a different drive, or have a different name (eg. non-English Windows installations). 

Having done this you can restart the machine and delete the MSIETS folder, along with the entry '{8A05273A-2EA5-42DE-AA75-59EA7D9D50D7}' inside 'Downloaded Program Files' in the Windows folder. You can also run 'regedit' and remove these entries from the registry to clean up if you like: 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\{8A05273A-2EA5-42DE-AA75-59EA7D9D50D7} 

After removing the software you may want to delete the shortcuts it adds to the desktop, start menu and favorites menu, and set your search and home pages back to normal (in Control Panel / Internet Options). 

Spyware Removal Tools

Malwarebytes Spyware remover - Free

Malwarebytes is a site dedicated to fighting malware. Malwarebytes has developed a variety of tools that can identify and remove malicious software from your computer. When your computer becomes infected, Malwarebytes can provide the needed assistance to remove the infection and restore the machine back to optimum performance.

Also can remove the well known Malware "AntiVirus 360, XP, 2008,
2009, PersonalAntivirus, or ExtraAntivirus" .

Note: If you have the Wallpaper stating you have been infected, it has to be removed manually. It is a xxxxx.bmp in the Windows folder.

Great Free Program Malwarebytes 

One of the trends of 2009 has been the dramatic increase in the number of scareware or fake anti-virus programs, designed to fool people into believing they have a security problem.

Very Good!  Free Download Spybot Search & Destroy


Software Publisher's Description

Spybot - Search & Destroy can detect and remove a multitude of adware files and modules from your computer. Spybot also can clean program and Web-usage tracks from your system, which is especially useful if you share your computer with other users. Modules chosen for removal can be sent directly to the included file shredder, ensuring complete elimination from your system. For advanced users, it allows you to fix registry inconsistencies related to adware and to malicious program installations. The handy online-update feature ensures that Spybot always has the most current and complete listings of adware, dialers, and other uninvited system residents. 

This Version adds enhanced immunization features, an improved interface, and integration of BrowserManager for spyware detection. 


Free Download Windows Defender

Windows Defender

Microsoft's Free anti-spyware tool!
Validation of legal Windows required.
Microsoft's AntiSpyware - Now Windows Defender => Here
Auto protect and background auto updates


From Trend Micro
Spyware & Adware - How the Bad Guys Profit
Broadly defined, spyware is any software program that surreptitiously monitors
and gathers user information. What was once written and installed only by malicious
authors seeking to steal users' personal information, adware has emerged as a new
and more prominent form of spyware. A slightly less malicious form of spyware,
adware can display pop-up advertisements produced by so-called legitimate adware
companies. Adware companies are well funded, to the extent that some have even
discussed launching multi-million dollar IPOs.
The current mix of spyware and adware presents a compelling challenge to both
computer users and security companies, because of the lack of clarity about what
constitutes legitimate marketing techniques ? and is further complicated by the fact
that the rules vary widely throughout the world.

A narrow definition of spyware includes programs on a user's computer that report user
behavior, such as keystrokes or Web browsing history. According to this definition,
some types of spyware may be used for marketing purposes, while other types are used
for the purpose of criminal fraud leading to profit making.

Trend Micro uses both broad and narrow definitions of spyware, according to Anthony
Arrott, Trend Micro's manager of spyware research. "A broad definition of spyware
would include adware and Trojan spyware," he explained. "Anything that interferes
with the privacy, productivity, or security of your PC can be called spyware - with
the caveat that it is non-propagating. Spyware stays on a system as long as it can
without being noticed. Also, while viruses and worms are essentially about vandalism,
broad-definition spyware is about monetary gain."

The story of how the money flows in the spyware cycle involves four contributors or
sources. First are the advertisers themselves, and second are the agents they hire to
market their products. Third in the spyware food chain is the publishers, the writers
of the program 'payload', the crimeware or grayware that actually gets delivered to
the user's computer. Fourth are the distributors, who often distribute multiple
payloads for a variety of publishers, since they earn their money on a "per install"
Spyware and adware were prevalent trends in 2005. According to Trend Micro's research,
29 per cent of the total threat landscape for the year was comprised of spyware and
adware. 2005 also saw the use of blended threats, in which malware authors initiated
multi-trojan attacks ? including worms that drop or download spyware/adware programs
onto systems ? to take advantage of marketing programs that pay a small fee per

The trend is likely to continue in 2006 and beyond. Adware-driven campaigns can
generate significant amounts of money, and many adware companies are eager to have
their products installed in as many PCs as possible. As the threat of spyware and
adware continues to grow, it becomes even more critical for computer users to scan any
program downloaded through the Internet - including any downloads from P2P networks,
via the Web, or any FTP server, regardless of the source - with updated anti-virus and
anti-spyware software.

If you would like to scan your computer for worms, viruses, Trojans and malicious code,
visit HouseCall, Trend Micro's free, online virus scanner at:

What is Malware:

Viruses: Self-replicating code inserts copies of the virus into host programs or data files. Viruses can attack both operating systems and applications. 

Worms: A self-replicating, self-contained program executes without user intervention. Worms create copies of themselves, and they don't require a host program to infect a system. 

Trojan horses: This self-contained, non-replicating program appears to be benign, but it actually has a hidden malicious purpose. Trojan horses often deliver other attacker tools to systems. 

Malicious mobile code: This software with malicious intent transmits from a remote system to a local system. Attackers use it to transmit viruses, worms, and Trojan horses to a user's workstation. Malicious mobile code exploits vulnerabilities by taking advantage of default privileges and unpatched systems. 

Tracking cookies: Accessed by many Web sites, these persistent cookies allow a third party to create a profile of a user's behavior. Attackers often use tracking cookies in conjunction with Web bugs. 

Great Site for Weeding out the Scams!
Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products

A turn in the antispyware war?

In a case that threatened to undermine the effectiveness of antispyware technology, a federal court last month sided with consumers when it ruled that companies can't be sued for providing Internet users with effective tools to protect themselves against online threats.

The case pitted Kaspersky Lab--which offers a range of antispyware and antivirus tools--against notorious adware distributor Zango.

A ruling in favor of Zango would have had wide-ranging negative impact, not just for Kaspersky, but for all antispyware developers, and, in turn, for the millions of consumers who rely on those companies to keep their computers free of unwanted, often malicious programs.

Thankfully, U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour sided with Kaspersky, holding that the Communications Decency Act immunized the company against Zango's claims and giving users of antispyware software the comfort of knowing that their antispyware software can alert them about the potential risks of all questionable software.

By Ari Schwartz,
Published on ZDNet News: Oct 3, 2007


Trends Spyware List

Searchable Spyware Database

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