Security Investigate

Spyware: A Clear and Present Danger

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Executive Summary

Used to be, a virus would tear through computer systems worldwide and within days, trash hundreds of thousands of systems, garnering global headlines before an antidote was created and distributed with similar alacrity. Now, silent and potentially far more deadly code is in play, which if it's working right, will never be noticed, even as it siphons off critical information or quietly turns a computer into a bot or spamming node. The new malware is spyware, but it's not the mere annoyance that first appeared on the scene a decade ago and later became notorious as a system-slowing nuisance. In the past several years, spyware has morphed from an irritant into a powerful tool for serious cybercriminals.

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