Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Detection and Removal of Spyware

Rapid growth of modern informational Internet-technologies begets the development of the hardware-software and network infrastructure. However, it also causes a number of negative aspects that influence the improvement process of the IT-industry.
A wide range of negative, so to say ‘begotten by the Internet’, factors can be pointed out in the computer industry. They include: hackers, viruses, Trojans, SPAM, etc. Lately, another step in the development of the software – Spyware – appeared in the publicity. This article describes what Spyware is and how it can be fought.

What is Spyware?
Spyware represents ordinary embedded software modules that track and gather different information about your activity during your work on PC, redirect you on various companies’ sites during your surfing the Internet, open advertising banners of every sort and kind and do a lot of other unapproved spy activity.

Where can Spyware be “picked up”?
It is not that hard to “pick up” a Spyware. The most assured way of becoming infected is visiting warez sites or adult web-resources for those ‘over 18’. Be sure that your PC is infected if you had visited the sites mentioned above using not up-to-date Internet Explorer and without any antivirus and firewall installed. Why we are so sure about it? The thing is that authors of Spyware-programs do their best to place the infection on as much computers in the network as possible, so any new breach in the browser is a splendid opportunity for them.
Also, it often happens that Spyware-modules are bundled with different software. A perfect example of that are P2P-clients and a great number of suspicious programs from unknown developers.

How can Spyware be detected?
As a rule, the task to detect Spyware is many-sided and has a couple solutions:
1. Installation of Firewall (for example Outpost Firewall Pro, Norton Personal Firewall, Kerio Personal Firewall, etc.) that will immediately inform you about suspicious network activity of any program.
2. Installation of IDS (Intrusion Detection System) software that provide you with real protection in real time by immediately recognizing and stopping attempted, unwanted or malicious behavior by other programs. A perfect example of such software is Arovax Shield.
3. Installation of such specialized software for Spyware removing as Arovax Antispyware, SpyBot-Search & Destroy, Ad-Aware, MS AntiSpyware, etc.
4. Using special antivirus programs. In most cases, they can be found on the web-sites of major modern antivirus software.

How to remove found Spyware?
It is best to use proper software to ‘treat’ found Spyware programs. Such software cleans the registry correctly and removes all found spy modules and libraries. Consider the fact that some antivirus can only detect Spyware and in most cases are not able to ‘treat’ your PC from them.
You can also try to remove Spyware manually. However, this variant is suitable for experienced users only. In this case you will need not only to remove Spyware executing modules (you might need to load OS in safe mode) but to edit the system registry in order to get rid of harmful programs links as well.

How to protect your PC from further infections?
The receipt is simple: install all updates for your OS, install proper antispyware software, antivirus and Firewall, keep them always up-to-date and do not install suspicious programs from the Internet.


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