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Spyware, Adware, and Browser Hijacking

Spyware, Adware, and Browser Hijacking. Agenda. What is Spyware? What is Adware? What is Browser Hijacking? Security concerns and risks Prevention, detection, and recovery Lab discussion. Spyware. A program that secretly monitors your actions

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Spyware, Adware, and Browser Hijacking

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  1. Spyware, Adware, and Browser Hijacking

  2. Agenda • What is Spyware? • What is Adware? • What is Browser Hijacking? • Security concerns and risks • Prevention, detection, and recovery • Lab discussion ECE 4112

  3. Spyware • A program that secretly monitors your actions • Technology that collects information about a person or organization without their knowledge • Most spyware is focused on vulnerabilities in Microsoft applications (Internet Explorer) ECE 4112

  4. How is Spyware spread? • Viruses can place spyware in a computer • Installation of new program • Web browsing • Cookies are considered by some to be a form of spyware • Deceptive pop-up windows ECE 4112

  5. Adware • Application used to display advertisements to computer users • Many adware programs contain spyware to track and target users • Generally spread through freeware programs funded by advertising • Examples: AIM, Hotmail, WeatherBug ECE 4112

  6. Browser Hijacking • Covers a range of malicious software used to manipulate web browser software • Generally the settings of your web browser are modified • change your home page • add new sites to your favorites • Prevent access to certain website • Disable anti-virus and anti-spyware software ECE 4112

  7. Gator Ad Insertion Network (GAIN) • The widest spread form of adware • “free programs” install different variants of this ad serving software • These advertisements provide revenue for the company called Claria • Claria is just the latest name change for this extremely hated company ECE 4112

  8. Symptoms • Computer seems to have a mind of its own • Computer is running slower • Hard drive is spinning even when system is not in use • Other changes are noticeable that users did not make • Annoying advertisements • Notice when pop-ups occur (online or offline) ECE 4112

  9. Prevention • Use secure browser and application settings • Correctly setup ActiveX components • Be careful of what you download • Close suspicious pop-ups and programs correctly • Avoid file sharing applications • Use pop-up blockers and spyware prevention applications • Firewalls ECE 4112

  10. Detection and Removal • Easiest method is with spyware scanning and removal tools • Spybot S&D • Ad-aware • HiJack This • Manual removal • Editing the registry • Add/Remove programs • Removal from a clean environment • Bart PE ECE 4112

  11. Anti-Spyware Software • Scans the local storage devices for known spyware and adware definitions • Allows users to quarantine and then remove any detected files • Different types of anti-spyware software focus in on different areas of vulnerabilities • Spybot S&D, Ad-aware, and HiJack This are some of the more popular anti-spyware software ECE 4112

  12. Bart PE (Preinstalled Environment) • Bart’s Bootable Windows CD used for various maintenance tasks • Provides a complete Win32 environment to work from • Graphical Interface • File system support • Network Support • Excellent in assisting with recovery and scanning of systems ECE 4112

  13. Lab Outline • Introduce spyware into your system • Perform various scans and recovery exercises using different methods • Automated removal through anti-spyware software • Manual removal – registry editing, Bart PE • Test some preventive software and techniques • Future additions: Browser Hijacking ECE 4112

  14. Questions? ECE 4112

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