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Spywaredata.Com Definitions  
Adware
Browser Helper Object
Dialer
Drive-by-downloads
Hijackers
Homepage Hijackers
Keylogger
Layered Service Provider (LSP)
Parasiteware
Malware
RATs
Retrospies
Scumware
Searchpage Hijackers
Snoopware
Spam
Surveillance Software
Thiefware
Trojans
Adware
Adware is any software application in which advertising banners are displayed while the program is running. The authors of these applications include additional code that delivers the ads, which can be viewed through pop-up windows or through a bar that appears on a computer screen. The justification for adware is that it helps recover programming development cost and helps to hold down the cost for the user. Adware has been criticized for occasionally including code that tracks a user's personal information and passes it on to third parties, without the user's authorization or knowledge.
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Browser Helper Object
A Browser Helper Object is a small program that runs automatically every time you start your Internet browser. Usually, a BHO is installed on your system by another software program. BHO's are typically installed by toolbar accessories and can track your internet usage and collect other information that is used on the internet.
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Dialer
A dialer is software that installs itself to your dial-up settings and dials to the number of its choosing. Once dialer software is downloaded the user is disconnected from their Internet service provider and another phone number is dialed and the user is billed for the time used. While they may not spy on users, they are malicious in nature and can rack up expensive and unwanted bills.
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Drive-by-downloads
Drive-by downloads are accomplished by providing a misleading dialogue box or other stealth installation. Many times users have no idea they have installed an application.
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Hijackers
Hijackers are applications that attempt to take control of the user's home page and reset it with the site of the hijacker's choosing. This site is almost always loaded with ads, pop-ups, and/or other make-money-fast portals. They are a low security threat, however annoying they may be. Many use stealth techniques or misleading dialogue boxes to perform installation. Hijacker programs will put a reference to themselves in the StartUp or Registry, so that the software reinstalls itself every time the computer is started. If the user tries to change any of these settings, the hijacker then changes them back upon reboot
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Homepage Hijackers
Software that takes control over your home page. Generally you are unable to reset your homepage to any other site. After setting your homepage, upon reboot you will see it set back to the Homepage Hijacker setting.
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Keylogger
A keylogger is any program that records every detail of what is done on your computer down to the keystroke on the keyboard. They record this information in a log and can send that log to a server with your information. Iinformation such as passwords, credit card information, and personal identification numbers if entered into the keyboard while these programs are running.
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Layered Service Provider (LSP)
Simply put, the LSP is a piece of software that is tightly woven into the networking services of a computer. In particular, when using the protocol of the internet, TCP/IP, the LSP integrates itself with the TCP/IP layer of your network. As such, the LSP has access to all TCP/IP traffic coming into and leaving a computer. If the LSP is from a "good" author, then the communication can be enhanced and protected in many helpful ways. However, when spyware authors use an LSP, it can be used to spy on the habits and data of the user. Also, because the computer will not see any of the data until the LSP lets it through, it is possible to change information so that the spyware vendor benefits. Worse still, because the LSP is very tightly woven into the TCP/IP layer, trying to remove it without the proper precautions may break the part of the program that handles TCP/IP communications. When the handler is broken, a computer may not be able to connect to the Internet.
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Malware
Malware is software designed specifically to disrupt the normal operation of the computer system. A trojan horse or a virus could be classified as Malware. Some advertising software can be malicious in that it tries to re-install itself after you remove it.
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RATs
RATs (Remote Administration Tools), allow an attacker to gain unrestricted access to your computer whenever you are online. The attacker can perform activities such as file transfers, adding/deleting files or programs, and controlling the mouse and keyboard. Rogue Active X are scripts that run on websites and either install software on the PC without the users knowledge or open a gateway onto the users hard drive to access files in an attempt to delete and modify them as they will.
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Retrospies
Any software that targets anti-spyware software in an effort to not be detected. They may also use various other hiding techniques such as using common system file names. Spyware software that actively attacks a detection program or programs in an effort to prevent detection. Retrospies are malicious and usually use other types of deception to avoid detection.
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Scumware
Scumware is a slang word for any unwanted software or programs installed on your computer.
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Searchpage Hijackers
SearchPage Hijackers take control over your default search engine. This doesn't mean you cannot use your favorite search engine, it means that when you mistype something, their search page will pop-up. This generally includes alot of advertisements and generally contains a search engine that will deliver advertising content rather then relevant search results.
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Snoopware
Another name for spyware software, Snoopware refers to the act of snooping. It can track what you do on the internet and report it to a server or collect personal information and report that to a server.
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Spam
Spam is unsolicited commercial e-mail or the junk mail you get in your regular inbox.
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Surveillance Software
Surveillance Software is a potentially greater and more dangerous threat than viruses because it can record your keystrokes, history, passwords, and other confidential and private information and then send that information to the creator. Surveillance Software is often sold as a spouse monitor, child monitor, surveillance tool or a tool to spy on users trying to gain unauthorized access. Surveillance Software covertly gathers user information and monitors activity without the user's knowledge. You do not have to be connected to the Internet to be spied on. Some software will save logs to be transmitted later. The latest Surveillance Software includes the use of e-mail to mail out user activity or posting information on the web where the creator can view the information at their leisure. Some Surveillance Software vendors go as far as using "stealth routines" and "polymorphic" techniques to avoid detection and removal by popular anti-spy software. In conclusion, Surveillance Software is a program that takes your information and then sends that information to another user on the internet.
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Thiefware
Thiefware is software that pops up on sites and does not pay or even give credit to the web page owner. It can also redirect a search or webpage to the web page of their choosing. This practice is not illegal although many web site owners believe it to be unethical.
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Trojans
Trojans or Trojan Horses are programs that appear to be innocuous even beneficial, but in fact, are harmful! They get this name from the Trojan Horse that was used in a war by the Greeks to gain access to the city of Troy. It looked like a gift of a giant wooden horse, but actually concealed soldiers inside. Much like that horse, these programs appear to benefit you but, turn out to be harmful. The harmful contents could be anything from a virus to a RAT (Remote Administrative Tool). Trojans are designed to cause loss or theft of computer data, and to destroy the system. Trojans can also be distributed as email attachments, or bundled with other software programs.
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