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What is Spyware? Where did it come from?.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Spyware? Where did it come from?."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Spyware? Where did it come from?

2 Adware Originated from software called shareware
Shareware did not work well, so as the internet became popular, it evolved into adware Adware was shareware that supported itself by displaying advertisements Gator Kazaa

3 Adware Advertisers wanted to better target ads to people using these programs, so they began to “collect” usage information The term for this became “spyware” Advertisers began devising more and more intrusive ways to display advertisements Adware switched from programs supported by advertisements to advertisements supported by programs

4 Spyware Instead of coming with a program that serves a useful purpose, most spyware now seeks to merely get on your computer for the sole purpose of displaying advertisments This includes displaying pop-ups when you shouldn’t get them, your web browser being “hijacked”, and many other things that shouldn’t happen.

5 Spyware The official definition of spyware is:
Software that transmits information back to a third party without notifying the user. It is also called malware, trackware, hijackware, scumware, snoopware or thiefware. Note: Some privacy advocates also call legitimate access control, filtering, Internet monitoring, password recovery, security or surveillance software "Spyware" because it could be used without notifying the users.

6 Spyware It is believed that currently 9 out of 10 PCs that are connected to the internet are now infected by spyware An unpatched PC connected to the internet can be infected in as little as 4 minutes So how can someone protect themselves from spyware?

7 Updates, Virus Scanners, and Firewalls
Basic Measure Updates, Virus Scanners, and Firewalls

8 Anti-Virus Everyone should have anti-virus software on their computer!
Run at least once per week, along with other measures to keep your computer safe and working correctly Anti-Spyware tools (covered later) Hiram College provides anti-virus software for you E-Trust software

9 Windows Updates What it does: Updates software on your computer to plug up security holes in Windows products Select it from the start menu Automatic updating Should be run as often as anti-virus software is used Service Pack 2

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11 What you need to know about Service Pack 2
Windows Security Center, which includes: Quick-and-easy automatic updates options Pop-up blocker Monitoring of anti-virus protection Software firewall

12 Firewalls Keeps unauthorized users from entering your system
Hardware and Software based firewalls

13 More on Firewalls No need to worry if you’re on the Hiram network
Should be used otherwise – easy to use and you can work around them if you need to

14 AdAware, Spybot, and MS AntiSpyware
Anti-Spyware Tools AdAware, Spybot, and MS AntiSpyware

15 Anti-Spyware Tools AdAware, Spybot, and MS AntiSpyware are all free tools that scan for and remove spyware These three are also the most powerful We will show you how to use these tools in this section

16 AdAware http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
Free version available (AdAware SE Personal) Professional version also available

17 Spybot Completely Free of Charge

18 Microsoft AntiSpyware
Formerly Giant AntiSpyware Free of charge

19 Other tools Noteworthy commercial products:
AdAware SE Professional Webroot SpySweeper Trusted sources of information (and updated software):

20 Safe Mode, Regedit, and Bazooka
Advanced Removal Safe Mode, Regedit, and Bazooka

21 Advanced Spyware Removal
Windows Safe Mode The Windows Registry Manual Spyware Removal (with Bazooka)

22 Windows Safe Mode Safe Mode – what is it?
Only loads minimal Windows functions for Windows to run. User must manually start any programs they wish to use. Allows anti-spyware scanners to remove spyware more effectively. Our instructions are for Windows XP

23 How to Access Windows Safe Mode
Update all anti-spyware scanners with current definitions. Turn off System Restore. (Instructions coming next!) Reboot the computer. Tap the F8 key about twice per second as the computer reboots.

24 Accessing Windows Safe Mode continued
Select the first option, Safe Mode, and press enter. When Windows starts, run anti-spyware scanners.

25 Turning off System Restore

26 **A word of caution when using the registry!**
The Windows Registry Windows Registry – what is it? A database of configuration files needed to run Windows and programs Some spyware must manually be removed from the registry Use Google to search for instructions on how to remove the spyware **A word of caution when using the registry!**

27 How to Access the Windows Registry
Click on ‘Start’, and then click on ‘Run’. Type ‘regedit’ and click ‘Ok’. Follow the instructions for removing the spyware by expanding the hierarchical folders in the left column.

28 Bazooka Removal Tool Free software http://www.kephyr.com/
Advanced removal tool (often requires using regedit)

29

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31 Sample of Bazooka Instructions

32 Other things to keep you safe
Additional Measures Other things to keep you safe

33 1: Use a pop-up blocker Pop-up blockers stop pop-up ads from being displayed on your screen. Windows XP Service Pack 2 adds a pop-up blocker to Internet Explorer. If you are not using Windows XP, Google makes a pop-up blocker too. You can download it at

34 2: Turn off dangerous features
Internet Explorer allows the use of Active X for displaying certain content Unfortunately Active X can be very dangerous if used for malicious purposes You can disable Active X in the security settings of Internet Explorer You may wish to disable other features as well There is a better option than crippling your features

35 3: Use a different Web Browser
Internet Explorer is currently the most commonly used web browser That means it is the ideal target for spyware manufacturers If they can find an exploit in it, they can target the most number of people

36 3: Use a different Web Browser
By using a different web browser you avoid most of these mainstream exploits Firefox is an example of a browser alternative that an individual can use It is free from Another free browser is Opera (http://www.opera.com)

37 3: Use a different Web Browser
Alternate browsers also include other features you may find useful Most web browser alternatives include pop-up blockers Some even have features for removing advertisements all together

38 4. Be Alert Many virus writers use simple tricks like misdirection
Double check your sources and make sure that the link is going where you think it is

39 Questions? See this information (and more) at http://cs.hiram.edu/
Feel Free to contact us at


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