Dealing With Adware And Spyware
by Lisa Phifer
Published August 2006; Posted December 2006


Youíll need a hybrid of host- and network-based approaches, as well as the security professionalís greatest asset: Constant vigilance.

If early viruses like BubbleBoy and LoveBug make you pine for simpler times, then you are probably waging war against this millenniumís far more tenacious foe: The stubborn crop of spyware that now infests three out of four PCs. From pesky adware like BonziBuddy to malicious malware like Trojan-Downloader-Zlob, spyware is literally choking corporate desktops and networks. Responsible for one out of four help desk calls and half of the PC crashes reported to Microsoft, spyware is draining IT resources and business productivity.

Worse, spyware is now morphing from nuisance to nightmare. Those seeking financial gain through spyware have evolved from tracking cookies and intrusive pop-up ads to more selective and insidious methods. For example, drive-bydownloads are installing exploit code onto PCs that merely visit websites, without user interaction. Phishing trojans are monitoring browser activity, waiting to capture identities and credentials during on-line banking transactions. Keyloggers are harvesting sensitive data from victims, violating privacy laws and industry regulations.


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About the author:

Lisa Phifer is an owner and principal consultant at Core Competence, a network security technology consulting firm based in Chester Springs, PA. A 25-year veteran of the networking industry, Lisa has been battling the spyware scourge since 2001.


This article is reproduced by special arrangement with our partner, Business Communications Review.


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