Study: Tools Let Spyware Slip Through Cracks

    Date24 Nov 2004
    CategoryHacks/Cracks
    5766
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    With the threat of a sophisticated spyware attack looming, a renowned security researcher says the most popular detection and removal tools "fail miserably" at addressing the growing spyware/malware scourge. . . . With the threat of a sophisticated spyware attack looming, a renowned security researcher says the most popular detection and removal tools "fail miserably" at addressing the growing spyware/malware scourge.

    Just days after hackers seized control of a banner ad server and used it to load malicious programs on vulnerable machines, researcher Eric Howes issued failing grades on all anti-spyware scanners he tested during a two-week stretch in October.

    Howes, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that the best-performing anti-spyware scanner failed to detect about 25 percent of the "critical" files and registry entries installed by the malicious programs.

    "One thing I found out for sure is that no single scanner removes everything," Howes said in an interview with eWEEK.com.

    "I had an inkling before doing the test that the results would come back like this. But it still is disappointing to find that the tools, in many cases, are basically useless."

    "The anti-spyware tools missed things that simply reinstalled what was deleted," Howes said, likening it to a cat-and-mouse game being won by the bad guys.

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