Fighting Back Against Spyware

    Date27 Apr 2004
    3870
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Much like spam E-mail, spyware and its resultant problems are becoming serious. These small applications are planted on a PC by some software programs, Web sites, and E-mail messages and can track a Web surfer's every online move. Criminals or dishonest businesses can use spyware to capture keystrokes and copy personal data from hard drives and transmit it to the people behind the eavesdropping. . . . Microsoft estimates spyware is responsible for half of all PC crashes. Dell says 12% of its tech-support calls involve spyware, a problem that has increased substantially in recent months. Scans of one million Internet-connected PCs, conducted last quarter by Internet service-provider EarthLink Inc. and desktop-privacy and -security vendor Webroot Software Inc., found an average of 28 spyware applications running on each PC and more than 300,000 programs at large that can steal data and give hackers access to computers.

    Much like spam E-mail, spyware and its resultant problems are becoming serious. These small applications are planted on a PC by some software programs, Web sites, and E-mail messages and can track a Web surfer's every online move. Criminals or dishonest businesses can use spyware to capture keystrokes and copy personal data from hard drives and transmit it to the people behind the eavesdropping.

    Federal agencies, state governments, and politicians are getting involved. The Federal Trade Commission held a hearing last week on the costs and security risks posed by spyware as a prelude to formulating policy on the threat. The Spyware Control Act takes effect in Utah on May 28 and imposes a fine of $10,000 or more for planting unauthorized snooping software on a computer.

    U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Conrad Burns, R-Mont., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., in February introduced the Spyblock Act, which would require the consent of a user before software could be installed from the Internet on his or her computer. The act would prohibit information collection, advertising, distributed computing, and modifications to a PC without the user's agreement. "There's a big need" for the legislation, Burns told InformationWeek last week. "If I own a computer, it's my property for me to use, and I don't want anyone else harvesting the benefits of my computer."

    You are not authorised to post comments.

    LinuxSecurity Poll

    Do you reuse passwords across multiple accounts?

    No answer selected. Please try again.
    Please select either existing option or enter your own, however not both.
    Please select minimum 0 answer(s) and maximum 2 answer(s).
    /component/communitypolls/?task=poll.vote
    13
    radio
    [{"id":"55","title":"Yes","votes":"5","type":"x","order":"1","pct":45.45,"resources":[]},{"id":"56","title":"No","votes":"6","type":"x","order":"2","pct":54.55,"resources":[]}]["#ff5b00","#4ac0f2","#b80028","#eef66c","#60bb22","#b96a9a","#62c2cc"]["rgba(255,91,0,0.7)","rgba(74,192,242,0.7)","rgba(184,0,40,0.7)","rgba(238,246,108,0.7)","rgba(96,187,34,0.7)","rgba(185,106,154,0.7)","rgba(98,194,204,0.7)"]350
    bottom200

    We use cookies to provide and improve our services. By using our site, you consent to our Cookie Policy.