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© 2009 Charles D. Knutson The Dark Side of Software: Viruses, Worms, Adware, Spyware Dr. Charles D. Knutson Brigham Young University
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Malicious software Software that is evil, annoying, socially maladjusted, anarchistic and otherwise destructive Sometimes feels like the bane of the Internet Constant concern for "viruses" on your computer 2
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Malicious software "Malware," "Badware," "Junkware" Wide range of intrusive software Installs without user consent Hostile, intrusive or annoying Not to be confused with legitimate software that just doesn't work well 3
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Sources Hobbyists Just to see what happens Malicious hackers Anarchist tendencies Criminal elements Spammers Harnass zombie computers 4
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Sources Businesses Track buying or viewing habits Criminals Steal personal information Distributed Denial of Service Attack Multiple hijacked machines simultaneously hit a targeted site 5
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Some statistics As much malware was produced in 2007 as in the 20 prior years combined Most common delivery mechanisms: Web 6
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson How they spread Trick user into installing Click on attachment Installs with other software Normally downloaded or shareware Exploit security holes Attacks your computer remotely Macros in Office documents 7
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Malicious software Viruses Worms Trojan horses Spyware Adware Pop-ups 8
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Virus Often used broadly as a term for all malware Definition is more precise Term comes from Biology Enters host Replicates itself Spreads to other hosts 9
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Virus Self-replicating computer program Installs on your computer without your permission Makes copies of itself and attempts to spread Infects other files, documents Those files and documents move around 10
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Virus Forms of replication Infected disks Infected files Main sources of spread Files downloaded from the Web attachments Peer-to-peer file sharing 11
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Virus Malicious behavior Reformat hard disk, delete data Display message No external visibility Potentially damaging even if benign Any system software can cause problems 12
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Virus Anti-virus software is a must for certain systems Especially Windows Must update and scan regularly Most popular programs: McAfee, Symantec, Sophos 13
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Worm Similar to virus But does not need to attach to an existing file, disk, or program Moves across a network Exploits security hole on target computers Installs itself Begins to search for new targets Chews up bandwidth while replicating 14
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Worm May carry dangerous payload Leave Trojan horse or backdoor access Plant virus Damage data on target systems New worms exploit backdoors opened by previous worms Your system will grind to a crawl Firewall software is a must Normally built-in, but must be turned on 15
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson 2001 – Code Red Worm 16
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Trojan horse Useful program run by the user Malicious software installs in the background Commonly installs backdoor or other security breach Can be exploited later Mostly malicious intent Allow hacker access to your computer Antivirus software deals with this 17
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spyware Malware intended to gather information about a user or system Track keystrokes, web visits Gather personal information Financial transactions Often modify desktop experience Install toolbars Change home page, search engine Redirect web traffic to commercial sites 18
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spyware Modes of installation Often like other forms of viruses Does not try to spread or replicate Most common in downloaded software, Internet pop-up ads User clicks on pop-up ad, gives program permission to install Often includes and installs adware 19
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spyware - Statistics % of all computers had spyware installed 92% of users were unaware % of computers infected In the first half of 2007, spyware infections prompted 850,000 U.S. households to replace their computers 20
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Spyware - Statistics 81% of home computers lack core protection Updated anti-virus software, a firewall, spyware protection 38% of home computers lack any spyware protection software 68% keep sensitive information, like personal correspondence, professional records, and financial information, on their home computers 74% use the Internet for sensitive transactions from their home computers, such as banking or reviewing personal medical information 21
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Anti-spyware software First really effective solutions Lavasoft AdAware Spybot - Search & Destroy Microsoft Windows Defender Major antivirus vendors catching up Symantec, McAfee, Sophos 22
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Anti-spyware software Beware fake anti-spyware software Never buy or download anti-spyware from a banner ad... think about it!! Rogue software Never believe a banner ad that tells you your computer is infected with something Think about it… 23
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Downloads carrying spyware Bonzi Buddy Dope Wars Error Guard Grokster Kazaa Morpheus RadLight WeatherBug EDonkey 2000 SpyEagle 24
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Adware Software automatically displays or downloads advertising material Typically without the consent of user Often a form of spyware, or in conjunction with spyware Ads targeted to user profile, web habits, personal info Information gleaned from spyware 25
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Adware Not to be confused with legitimate banner ads and pop-up ads Benign and honest about it If ads pop up randomly, or persistently Or when the browser isn't even open Or when you're not connected to the Internet 26
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Anti-adware software All major spyware solutions will also remove adware All major anti-virus programs 27
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Other antivirus info Static scan Files on hard disk Modifications to hidden sectors on disk Modifications to active memory Dynamic scan Detect malware as it arrives Looks for Known signatures Known bad behaviors 28
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Security updates Every operating system vendor releases regular security updates As threats are uncovered Enable automatic security updates Especially critical in Windows Disable pop-up windows in your browser 29
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Genetic diversity Same function in biological systems Diversity assists against an entire population wiped out by one virus Windows invites attack Architectural weaknesses exist Other platforms not as vulnerable Less targeted Fewer architectural weaknesses 30
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Windows vs. Mac Is Mac really safer than Windows? For the most part it's true Windows is a much bigger target Mac is built on Unix which has fewer security holes No operating system is completely fool- proof If Mac earns 90% of the market... 31
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Windows vs. Mac 32
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Windows vs. Mac 33
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Windows vs. Mac 34
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Surfing guidelines Don't download programs, music or other files from random sources Don't download toolbars Don't EVER click on a pop-up ad!! Be cautious about online games Especially if they require you to install software in order to play Turn off pop-ups in browser 35
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson How to tell you're infected Performance is horrible! Gets better when you unplug the network cable Pop-up ads every few minutes Mysterious new toolbars on desktop Home page redirected Failed site page redirected Search page redirected 36
© 2009 Charles D. Knutson Questions? Internet Safety Podcast Internet Safety Wiki wiki.internetsafetypodcast.com Dr. Charles Knutson 37
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