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The Modern Trends in Spy-ware

By Charles Hopkins Published 12/14/2006 | Internet
 

To begin with, the cyber world is threatened with a new kind of menace in the form of spyware! It is a kind of evil force that has the potential of taking the cyber crime to an unimaginable height through surreptitious information-cracking techniques.

In order to analyze the latest trends, we have to first know where it originated from. Spams are the forerunners of the spyware and it is the "botnets" from where over 90% of the spam messages originate from. The botnets are the collections of compromised PCs that are run by a system of common command-and-control engaged by cyber criminals to send out spam or for denial of service (DoS) attacks. According to the expert estimates, over sixty percent of home users registered at any broadband networks are spam infected and to a considerable degree exposed to the criminal hawk eyes.

The damaging powers of the spam get even more strengthened when it is joined with the spyware. And this convergence of the spam-spyware sets the latest trends of the cyber crimes like hacking into corporate networks, identity theft and crippling of IT systems. A few years ago it was the collaboration between spam and viruses and this time the collaboration is between the spasm and spyware and this time the threat is going to be more significant. A couple of years ago, it was the spam that opened up the door of the goldmine for the cyber criminals and this time it is the spyware that is going to be their short cut to riches.

The spyware started as a mere internet marketing tool to capture a browser using certain keyword, so that a related popup add can be displayed. But this opened up new avenue for the people with a criminal edge and soon spyware started to be used to capture data on what people were searching for and this data were then sold to commercial entities for a hefty price.

Lets just explain how these smart spyware of today actually works.

At the core, Spywares actually are based on e-mail scamming technique called "Phishing". This is a powerful technique to crack open the  sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers. This cracking is done through official looking messages that have already been worked upon to turn it into a tool of "spear phishing." This establishes the spam-spyware collaboration which is then employed to siphon out important information about individual users, leading to refined cyber frauds.

The spywares of today are more dangerous than the viruses or worms of the yesteryears in that, with them you could get chances for finding them out and drive them out before the specific date when they would start to affect the boot sector. But with spyware the threat is extremely dangerous as it involves information leakage and your very identity at stake.

The growing threats posed by spywares induced the Congress to pass a law for making a distinction between spyware and adware. But experts are of the opinion that this distinction will yield little result, as both the tools culture a persons computer and generate revenue through a well organized chain of banner ads, pornography sites, online gaming sites, tracking tools, and e-commerce sites. This new age hacking is believed to make an annual profit of over 1.6 billion.

So beware of these spyware by taking the right steps of protection. Set up the right firewall and dont let your PC to be the target of a set of new generation of extremely sly cyber criminals.