"Consumers can avoid spyware by taking the time to closely read software privacy policies and descriptions before they download the programs. Several Web sites, including Spywareguide.com and Spywareinfo.com, contain detailed listings of programs widely considered to be spyware"
SpywareGuide's blockfile featured in the "Ask Jack" section.
Reprinted from the Apr 2003 issue of the PC Alamode:
Preventive Maintenance Unneeded ActiveX by Russell James
"When you get the urge to download and install that great new piece of software, take a moment to find out if it is a known spyware program. This will save you the headache of trying to get rid of it later. You can lookup the programs at spywareguide. They have a database with what seems to be a very current list of spyware programs and explanations of what they do to your system as well as how to get rid of them.
If you will take the time to lookup potential programs first you can keep your system from having the slowdown that it might have had. It is a lot easier to keep your system clean than it is to clean up afterwards. There are too many good things available on the Internet to waste your time on programs that will mess your system up. Don?t install a program without checking it out first."
Issue February 2004, page 31 and beyond
Features a long interview with the spywareguide founders, about the dangers of spyware and adware, and how you can protect yourself against it.
The problem is the transient manner in which some adware outfits partner with affiliate networks that install their software. These networks are made up of thousands of sites and are administered by third parties, which are paid commissions based on clicks or sales. Often, sites are recruited via spam.
"The affiliate networks only get paid per transaction which gives them a disincentive to maintain the quality [of the sites they work with,]" says Wayne Porter, co-founder Spywareguide.com and CEO of Xblock, which sells spyware-removal software.
Further complicating the process, affiliate partners can farm out their traffic. "If I know that I can make 20 cents per install," says Porter, "I can hook up with a [spyware] guy and give him a cut of 10 cents per install." That way, everyone gets a piece of an exponentially larger pie.
"The spyware guys may have a front--a legitimate site that collects the money from advertisers, but they use a series of redirects to hide where traffic is coming from," Porter explains. "It's a hidden economy based on complex networks of Web sites that launder traffic and money."
He argues that the adware guys should know better, and do more to combat this problem.
Editor's Pick: Botnet Stalkers Share Takedown Tactics at RSA. By Matt Hines. SAN FRANCISCO?A pair of security researchers speaking here at the ongoing RSA Conference Feb. 7 demonstrated their techniques for catching botnet operators who use secret legions of infected computers to distribute malware programs and violent political propaganda.
The botnet experts, both of whom are employed by anti-malware software maker FaceTime Communications, based in Foster City, Calif., detailed how they identified and pursued individuals believed to be responsible for running a pair of sophisticated botnet schemes, which have been subsequently shut down or significantly scaled back.
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