Adware & Spyware Are Deep-Rooted Malware
"McAfee Avert Labs" published a white paper on 11 September 2006 that discusses all aspects of Internet threats and the root areas of adware and spyware. It also discusses the need for education to combat such threats. The paper discusses the monetary reasons that support 'adware' and 'spyware' as they proliferate rapidly. It also talks about the manner in which developers of adware and spyware use genuine technologies to spread the malware on the Internet.
While 'adware' and 'spyware' vendors exploit marketing policies of legitimate firms, they use websites of legitimate companies to target and attack innocent users. This implies that legitimate websites are also responsible to some extent for disseminating adware and spyware.
The fact that porn surfers are more easy victims of spyware and adware is being questioned. Recent trends show that celebrity websites apparently have outperformed porn websites in distributing the malicious programs.
These programs pretend to offer "free" software and then get installed on users' machines. Once downloaded, the malware is used to gather data on marketing and distribute advertisements. By August 2006, there were 450 types of adware with their 4,000 variations on the Net. In a recent incident an adware distributor was blamed for amassing $150 on every 1,000 PCs that he infected with adware.
According to Jeff Green, McAfee's senior vice president for product development the availability of online affiliate-marketing business models in spreading adware and spyware with such ease has enhanced their prominence among Internet threats. He further added that between 2003 and 2006 the number of adware families haves risen by more than 1,000 percent.
A frightening discovery from SiteAdvisor shows that 97 percent of Internet users unable to separate reliable from unreliable sites. This highlights the urgency for imparting knowledge by vendors and VARs to organizations and their employees they render service to. This is now even more crucial as experienced users also find it difficult to differentiate between authorized and unauthorized programs.
Security experts advise users to install proper anti-spyware and anti-virus software with latest updates on their systems. A use of firewall is also necessary to block unauthorized application on the Internet.
Related article: Adware And Spyware On A Rapid Increase
» SPAMfighter News - 9/19/2006
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