Spyware and Adware and Botnet's, Oh My!

by Keith Williams

Adware and spyware are special types of malware which try to trick the unknowing online user into interacting with it so that it gain make a gain in money and information. To make things even worse this malicious little programs are able to form a network capable of infecting networks of individual PCs to form botnet's. In this way they are able be extremely destructive.

Adware are always out to trick an online user in to purchasing some software or utility. These have become so sly and use professionally looking pop-up windows and banners to attract the user into clicking through a link. The link often offers some utility or software which it markets in such a way that you think it is so valuable that you simply MUST to get. The truth of the matter unfortunately is that this is a ploy of the developer to try a make some quick money.

To make matters even worse, many adware also have associated spyware. Once the adware has broken through your computer security, it installs a little spyware program. This software often initiates with a small pop-up window which appears unnoticed for a short period of time. The sole purpose of the spyware is to skim off your personal information. This is information is usually sensitive and can include things such as identification details, banking information, etc. Once it has accessed this information, the spyware creates a backdoor or internet leak, through which the information is transmitted to its creator.

Besides adware, spyware has found another way of gaining access to unsuspecting internet users. It often uses what we call a drive-by download. The way that this works is that the drive-by download takes place during a visit to a website which could be completely unobtrusive. The download occurs in the form of a HTML link without the online user even being aware of what is happening.

This new technique has increased the spyware's striking power. By using this technique it can now easily infect a host of other computers. The threat has been highlighted by Google who discovered that 1 in every 10 webpages were suspicious and could be a source of drive-by downloading.

With this possibility of infecting many PCs at almost the same time, the formation botnet's become a real danger. A botnet consists of many infected computers which work together and are able to focus their activity towards a single PC. When doing this, it is able to cause the PC or network to crash by causing a huge information over--load, locking it from all authorized access. This could be extremely destructive and causes extensive financial damage if networks and servers of huge corporations or government departments were subjected to such an attack, and it were able to bridge their network security.

This dangers are easily transmitted if PCs and networks are not secured. It is of primary importance to ensure that your computer systems are protected at all times.

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