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Atlantic Security
International
Investigations Inc.
Box 303
Bensalem, PA 19020

[P] 215-750-3000
[F] 215-750-3010
 

 
SPYWARE THREAT (08/15/2005)
 

Madrid, August 15 2005 - Even though spyware has existed for many years, it is only recently that it has become one of the most widespread threats among computers connected to the Internet. One contributing factor to this situation is that many users do not recognize the symptoms that could indicate the presence of this type of malware.

Spyware first appeared almost at the same time as the Internet, but is now spreading at worrying rates, and according to a recent survey by Webroot and Earthlink is present in some 90 percent of computers.

The proliferation of spyware is largely due to the fact that information about the browsing habits of millions of users has become a goldmine for creators of this type of malware. Additionally, one of the objectives of spyware creators is to infect as many computers as possible without "making much noise", unlike -for example- worms, which spread massively via email. In this way, they aim at preventing users from taking the necessary measures to stop spyware from entering their computers or removing it from their systems, thus ensuring their creations stay operating in affected computers for a long time.

The general belief is that the only effect of spyware is theft of data related to users' web browsing habits for it to be used for advertising purposes. However, the scenario changes radically if you consider the fact that a great number of the phone calls received by internal Tech Support services regarding system malfunction stems from the presence of spyware on computers. It must be taken into account that spyware programs are actually computer applications, and as such, they use up system resources, or can cause incompatibilities with the software installed on computers. The most common symptoms of presence of spyware on a system include:

- Unusual slowness of the system.

- System instability.

- Slow Internet connection.

- Reception of an unusual amount of spam or junk mail.


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