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About Spyware

Spyware is a broad category of malicious software intended to intercept or take partial control of a computer's operation without the user's informed consent. While the term taken literally suggests software that surreptitiously monitors the user, it has come to refer more broadly to software that subverts the computer's operation for the benefit of a third party.

Spyware differs from viruses and worms in that it does not usually self-replicate. Like many recent viruses, spyware is designed to exploit infected computers for commercial gain. Typical tactics furthering this goal include delivery of unsolicited pop-up advertisements; theft of personal information (including financial information such as credit card numbers); monitoring of Web-browsing activity for marketing purposes; or routing of HTTP requests to advertising sites.

As of 2005, spyware affects only computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems. There have been no reports of spyware attacking Mac OS X, Linux, or other platforms.

Anti Spyware Coalition

The Anti-Spyware Coalition has developed a list of a broad set of behaviors that its members can use to help users make decisions. We expect the list to change over time as new bad practices are discovered. The anti-spyware industry offers a robust selection of tools to consumers in the marketplace. As is to be expected in such an environment, the rating systems used to classify Spyware and other Potentially Unwanted Technologies vary between Anti-Spyware vendors. The members of ASC believe that reputable anti-spyware companies should be transparent about their decisions to help users understand how anti-spyware tools make decisions; software publishers understand what may concern users; and Anti-Spyware vendors share information about emerging threats.

Source is Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.

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