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DOWNLOA The Anatomy of Spyware

By Bill Detwiler Editor ·
Spyware applications that generate pop-up ads, hijack browser home pages, redirect Web searches, steal Web traffic via DNS poisoning, track Internet activity, or steal personal information pose a serious security threat to your network. This quick-reference chart breaks down the basics of spyware--infection methods, signs of infection, spyware components, and common types of stolen information. In addition, the chart outlines multiple spyware removal techniques and prevention measures.

Download and review the chart:

Then, use this discussion threat to let us know if The Anatomy of Spyware chart provides helpful information and if there's anything we can do to improve the document's format or content.

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Wasnt bad but...

by jkaras In reply to DOWNLOAD: The Anatomy of ...

When I saw the Anatomy part I was hoping for examples of the code and where it might try to reside, like a screen shot. Maybe typical characteristics to look for in these bogus files that attempt to hide in the registry or apparent processes. I dont know if their are legal issues preventing that sort of display. The page was well laid out and formatted for easy understanding. Everyone knowadays knows what spyware is just what to really look for is the help we all desire whether advanced or novice. All in all not too bad.

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Possible improvement for version 2.0

by Bill Detwiler Editor In reply to Wasnt bad but...

Thanks for the detailed feedback. I will definitely consider your suggestions for the next version of this chart or perhaps a new chart.

If you're looking for a great tool to identify potential spyware or viruses that are running as Windows services, check out our Service Process Identifier script:

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library file corruption and tendrils

by eldergabriel In reply to DOWNLOAD: The Anatomy of ...

This download was good in giving basic information, but future revisions should probably include more detailed information about some of the factors that contribute to malware/spyware's more infuriating aspect: persistence. This would include situations where a given malware program has replaced or altered a key system library in order to maintain or propagate its presence, or just cause general system instability. Furthermore, specific registry keys that are commonly affected could be highlighted. It may be somewhat impractical to account for every situation, but the "tendrils" that malware uses to hook and embed itself into (primarily windows) computer systems should be addressed as well.

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thanks for the input

by Tech Locksmith In reply to library file corruption a ...

Of course these downloads are an ongoing project so we often start a category with basics.

I'll certainly pitch something along this line to the editors.

All suggestions are welcome.

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It's a start

by AlanGeek In reply to library file corruption a ...

I think you overlooked a couple of important items and passed some misinformation.

One of the most despicable methods of infection is the drive-by installation, where merely accessing a web site allows spyware to be installed without user knowledge or consent. An example is "" (DON'T go there!).

Under signs of infection you should list "Unexplained reduction in bank account balances" and "Dramatic increase in credit card balances" :-).

Under Prevention you suggest that users always use Alt-F4 or the corner "X" close button to close popup windows. Alt-F4, or sometimes Ctrl-F4 or Ctrl-W, depending on the browser, is a safe method of dismissing a window, but many popup windows have an "X" close button that is not an actual Windows control, yielding the same effect as the "OK" or "Agree" button.

Most importantly of all, you neglect to strongly recommend that people NOT USE IE, but use a different browser not based on IE, and to disable use of ActiveX. These two items are probably responsible for the majority of infestations and other problems resulting from web use.

Firefox has been quite popular lately, and though it has had some security issues as well, the impact has mostly been minor compared to IE, and the product is patched far more quickly than IE.

Opera, though not open-source, is another free browser that has had far fewer vulnerabilities than IE or Firefox, and is very quick, with many keyboard and mouse shortcuts to enhance the ease of use.

The more people use non-IE browsers, the safer the web will become.

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