Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Spyware - Malware 101: Understanding the Secret Digital War of the Internet

How Spyware Software Hurts Us All

By , Guide

1) What is spyware?

Forget viruses, spam and hacker attacks..."spyware" is now the single largest problem facing internet users today. These nasty little rogue programs have become so widespread and so infectious, their volume far outstrips spam and regular viruses. The spyware problem has grown to such an immense breadth and depth, we cannot even agree on what to call it.

2) Spyware = "malware"

Most people historically call these rogue programs "spyware". That name comes from the 1990's where nasty little programs secretly observed and logged your web surfing habits. The spyware problem, however, has now grown into dozens of other malicious formats, including sneakware, adware, keyloggers, browser hijackers, porn servers, trojans and worms

Because the spyware problem has mutated so much, we now describe spyware as part of a much larger category of rogue software called "malware" (malicious software programs)

At its most basic definition, malware is when insidious little software programs covertly install themselves on your computer, and then perform secret operations without your permission. Once in place, malware programs may do hundreds of nasty things to your computer. Malware will log your keystrokes, steal your passwords, observe your browsing choices, spawn pop-up windows, send you targeted email, redirect your web browser to phishing pages, report your personal information to distant servers, and serve up pornography. This malware will operate invisibly, often without displaying itself in your Task Manager. To top it off, malware usually refuses to be uninstalled through your control panel, and requires special tools to delete them from your drive. Yes, this is a direct cousin to viruses, but with a broader portfolio of wicked intentions.

3) What does spyware/malware specifically do to my computer?

Malware will perform a variety of nasty activities, ranging from simple email advertising all the way to complex identity-theft and password-stealing. New nasty functions are created every week by malware programmers, but the most common malware functions are:
  1. Malware steals your personal information and address book (identity theft and keystroke-logging).
  2. Malware floods your browser with pop-up advertising.
  3. Malware spams your inbox with advertising email.
  4. Malware slows down your connection.
  5. Malware hijacks your browser and redirects you to an advertising or a phishing-con web page.
  6. Malware uses your computer as a secret server to broadcast pornography files.
  7. Malware slows down or crashes your computer.
4) Where does spyware/malware come from?

Spyware/malware programs are authored by clever programmers, and then delivered to your computer through covert Internet installs. Usually, malware will piggyback on innocent-looking web page components and otherwise-benign software such as game demos, MP3 players, search toolbars, software, free subscriptions, and other things you download from the web. Subscribing to online services is especially bad for getting malware. In particular, whenever you sign up for a so-called "free" service or install new software, you must accept an "end user license agreement" (EULA). The fine print of the EULA will often include the phrase "the vendor is allowed to install third-party software on your computer". Since most users don't bother to read this EULA fine print, they naively click "accept", and install malware out of sheer ignorance.

5) What kind of personal information does spyware/malware steal?

This varies from the non-confidential to the extremely-personal. The malware may simply steal a listing of your MP3s or recent website visits. Malware may also harvest your email address book. At its very worst, malware will steal your banking PIN, your eBay login, and your Paypal information (aka "keystroke logging" identity theft). Yes, spyware/malware is a very serious Internet problem that threatens everyone's personal privacy, and network administrators everywhere are deeply concerned.

Malware: what it is and how to prevent it



Along with viruses, one of the biggest threats to computer users on the Internet today is malware. It can hijack your browser, redirect your search attempts, serve up nasty pop-up ads, track what web sites you visit, and generally screw things up. Malware programs are usually poorly-programmed and can cause your computer to become unbearably slow and unstable in addition to all the other havoc they wreak.
Many of them will reinstall themselves even after you think you have removed them, or hide themselves deep within Windows, making them very difficult to clean. This guide will detail the different varieties of malware along with basic preventive measures. In a follow-up article, we will examine the removal process and review a set of spyware removers. Although also considered to be malware, programs such as viruses, worms, trojans, and everything else generally detected by anti-virus software will not be discussed here, and the use of the word malware will only explicitly refer to software that fits in the categories listed below.
You can get infected by malware in several ways. Malware often comes bundled with other programs (Kazaa, iMesh, and other file sharing programs seem to be the biggest bundlers). These malware programs usually pop-up ads, sending revenue from the ads to the program's authors. Others are installed from websites, pretending to be software needed to view the website. Still others, most notably some of the CoolWebSearch variants, install themselves through holes in Internet Explorer like a virus would, requiring you to do nothing but visit the wrong web page to get infected.
The vast majority, however, must be installed by the user. Unfortunately, getting infected with malware is usually much easier than getting rid of it, and once you get malware on your computer it tends to multiply.

Will anti-virus programs protect against malware?

Anti-virus companies are only beginning to pay attention to malware. Aside from some of the latest versions (many include the malware scanner in the Internet security portion of their suites), most anti-virus programs have little to no protection. Those anti-virus programs that do protect are generally not as thorough as a dedicated malware remover. However, some especially virulent malware that malware scanners may miss will be removed by anti-virus programs, so it is generally a good idea to run a virus scan as well. Some of the anti-virus vendors' delay may be caused by worries they will get sued if they start labeling programs spyware, adware, etc., which has already happened.

Types of malware

Although there is no official breakdown, we can divide malware into several broad categories of malware: adware, spyware, hijackers, toolbars, and dialers. Many, if not most malware programs will fit into more than one category.
It is very common for people to use the words adware, spyware, and malware interchangeably. Most products that call themselves spyware or adware removers will actually remove all types of malware.


Adware is the class of programs that place advertisements on your screen. These may be in the form of pop-ups, pop-unders, advertisements embedded in programs, advertisements placed on top of ads in web sites, or any other way the authors can think of showing you an ad. The pop-ups generally will not be stopped by pop-up stoppers, and often are not dependent on your having Internet Explorer open. They may show up when you are playing a game, writing a document, listening to music, or anything else. Should you be surfing, the advertisements will often be related to the web page you are viewing.


Programs classified as spyware send information about you and your computer to somebody else. Some spyware simply relays the addresses of sites you visit or terms you search for to a server somewhere. Others may send back information you type into forms in Internet Explorer or the names of files you download. Still others search your hard drive and report back what programs you have installed, contents of your e-mail client's address book (usually to be sold to spammers), or any other information about or on your computer – things such as your name, browser history, login names and passwords, credit card numbers, and your phone number and address.
Spyware often works in conjunction with toolbars. It may also use a program that is always running in the background to collect data, or it may integrate itself into Internet Explorer, allowing it to run undetected whenever Internet Explorer is open.


Hijackers take control of various parts of your web browser, including your home page, search pages, and search bar. They may also redirect you to certain sites should you mistype an address or prevent you from going to a website they would rather you not, such as sites that combat malware. Some will even redirect you to their own search engine when you attempt a search. NB: hijackers almost exclusively target Internet Explorer.


Toolbars plug into Internet Explorer and provide additional functionality such as search forms or pop-up blockers. The Google and Yahoo! toolbars are probably the most common legitimate examples, and malware toolbars often attempt to emulate their functionality and look. Malware toolbars almost always include characteristics of the other malware categories, which is usually what gets it classified as malware. Any toolbar that is installed through underhanded means falls into the category of malware.


Dialers are programs that set up your modem connection to connect to a 1-900 number. This provides the number's owner with revenue while leaving you with a large phone bill. There are some legitimate uses for dialers, such as for people who do not have access to credit cards. Most dialers, however, are installed quietly and attempt to do their dirty work without being detected.

iPad For Beginners - How To Set Up A New iPad

The iPad is an awesome device and it can make it much easier to browse the web, enjoy music and other media and download millions of apps for both fun and productivity. However if you are new to Apple or more specifically the iPad you may run into a bit of guesswork when you go to set up the device for the first time!
In fact to set up the iPad in the quickest fashion you will need:
An iPad (just in case you missed this one!)
A Computer
Latest version of iTunes
iTunes account
Wireless connection
Step 1: The first thing you need to do if you haven't already is remove the iPad from its box and connect it to your computer using the USB connector. Most computers will have USB connectors on the back and sometimes the front.
Step 2: You need to activate it with the latest version of iTunes and your iTunes account. Now if you do not already have an iTunes account you can download iTunes from and you simply need to follow the instructions. In most cases if you have plugged in the iPad to your computer and you have not got iTunes installed already you will be asked to sign up for an account.
Step 3: You can then use iTunes to transfer music and other media from your computer to your iPad. In most cases all you need to do is open up iTunes and then drag and drop the media you want on your iPad to the iPad section on iTunes.
Step 4: Once everything is complete transferring you can unplug the iPad from your computer and start using it.
To turn it on you can push the power button in the top right, or push the Home button which is at the bottom in the middle of the device.
Once you have done that you can slide your finger from where the arrow starts across to the right to unlock the iPad. From there you will see a lot of icons and EVERYTHING you do on the iPad is controlled by touch. So you just need to start exploring, maybe start from the top left and explore what each icon does.
If you hold the iPad horizontally it will adjust the screen so you can have a widescreen or if you hold it vertically it will go back to standard.
You will get about 10 hours of use with a full charged battery.
Once you have the basics covered you will be ready to connect to a Wi-fi network and browse the web and also set up an email account with your iPad.

How to avoid phishing

In this article i'm getting to describe what to try to to to avoid the danger of phishing email.

Personal Contacts

The most important risk to think about ar your friends and relatives and associates. whereas you will take your responsibilities to safeguard yourself seriously, your contacts might not hold identical values and priorities. serving to them to understand your own priorities and considerations will go a protracted thanks to managing their expectations for the way you would possibly answer their on-line activities.

Ask them to not embody you in their mass circulation emails (round robins, latest funnies or heart string stories). this can facilitate to organize them for the inevitable if you wish to dam their address from your inbox if they ignore your request. because the oral communication goes, United Nations agency wants enemies with friends like that? Mass circulation emails ar a number of the worst for obtaining your email address regarding and "skimmed" by on-line robots for nasty functions.


Curiosity killed the cat - and it'll snag you yet if you let it. Curiosity could be a basic attribute and is employed by several scammers to lure you into gap emails that result in hell. These may well be strange subject lines, empty subject lines or perhaps sensational subject lines. Sensational tricks may well be "You've simply won thousands of pounds however you need to claim among succeeding jiffy or lose it" or provide the possibility to look at one thing sexually express before it gets deleted.

One I saw recently had a subject matter header suggesting a parcel that had been sent to Pine Tree State couldn't be delivered and would be came back to sender unless I contacted them to supply an alternate delivery address. i used to be not expecting any parcel and that i had ne'er provided that email address to anyone from that a part of the planet. it absolutely was value-added as a blocked address to 1 of my filters so deleted - sealed.

Make it a policy to treat everything curious, blank or sensational as dangerous and delete it while not gap it (or at the terribly least quarantine it somewhere till you'll be able to verify by different means) that the e-mail was meant.

Fear Scams

The same goes for worry. Phishing scams like to generate a state of panic within the recipient. attribute tends to be less rational once panic sets in. These would possibly use tricks like, your account has gone overdrawn/shut down or been seized/frozen/breached/violated/hacked/infiltrated. they are available simulation to be your friend to assist you during this disaster they've simply alerted you to. To inflame your state of panic they will even recommend that you just have a awfully restricted time to subsume this before your account are deleted/frozen/seized.

There may well be threats like "as you've got did not answer all previous makes an attempt to contact you and final warnings are unheeded, you may be charged if you are doing not resolve this outstanding debt before 4pm today". Another - "Your personal details might are stolen/illegally accessed - please use the link below to reset your password". All specifically tailored to panic you into doing one thing rash like replying to the sender, telling them United Nations agency you're and returning personal info (to facilitate them verify United Nations agency you're - really to assist them steal your identity) and obtaining you returning your account details and passwords.

If you receive associate email that conjures worry and horror and panic then the primary factor to try to to is distrust it. What real organisation would do business by exalting worry and panic through surprising communications? a lot of significantly, you ought to ne'er, EVER use the e-mail links offered to contact your bank, lender, whoever. continually use the contact details provided by the signed organisation (such because the client contact range on your credit/debit card itself or welcome letter once you 1st joined) to create contact and verify if the reportable threat is real.

Copy Cats

Another trick (not restricted to email phishing) is to gift an internet page that appears anyplace from similar - to identical - to the important one however is really false. this can be making an attempt to lull you into a false sense of security that you just ar accessing the important factor.

So you bank on-line and do not recognize the telephone number. this can be one which will be protected against by developing sure habits on-line. build a habit of comparison the net address in your usual link/favourite with the one on very cheap of the browser window. If they're totally different be suspicious. If you are doing this as a habit then you may be a lot of probably to note if it suddenly has modified or appearance odd or incomplete or Triticum aestivum spelta wrong or could be a totally different length.

In the end of the day these methods are a lot of sturdy than merely ever-changing your email address. That approach can ne'er assist you to become attentive to once that next email address becomes the target of a phishing attack. due to your "friends" and contacts it's solely a matter of your time before you begin receiving phishing attacks thereon email address yet.

How Does Spyware Work?

Expert Author Peter David Wendt
Plenty of people wonder what spyware really is and how it works. These people do not realize how dangerous spyware is and how they can be the very target for this malicious software. These people have no idea what type of damage this spyware can do to their computer.
What Is Spyware - Spyware comes in all types of software which gathers information about you through your Internet. You have no knowledge of this happening. The information is then sent to advertisers who benefit from it by promoting their own products.
How Spyware Steals Your Information - When you visit websites on the internet, your computer can become infected if the site is not trusted or certified. Some spyware has the capability of key logger. The key logger records your password that you enter along with other confidential or sensitive information.
How Does Spyware Get Inside my Computer? - So, how does the spyware penetrate into your computer? The most likely websites to infect your computer with spyware are the ones that offer free software downloads, pornographic websites and sites that offer freebies. The spyware is bundled into a hidden component of the freeware program which is downloaded on the Internet. After it penetrates your computer, the spy begins keeping track of the activities you perform on your computer. This happens even when you are not on the Internet.
Spyware Damages Your Computer Functions - In addition to tracking your activities, the spyware will take up all kinds of memory on your computer. It will slow the speed down and clog up the connection to the Internet. You will notice all kinds of pop-up advertisements while on the Internet. This wastes your time and slows down the progress of your work. Spyware can even change your bookmark favorites as well as direct you to websites that you have no intention of ever using.
Anti-Spyware Programs - There are some programs and software that you can easily install on your computer to get rid of or block this malicious software. Be sure that the anti-spyware program or software you use to install is very secure. You want it to be reliable enough to detect any spyware on your computer and get rid of it as soon as it detects it. Always adjust the level of security on your computer to medium so that you keep spyware from entering the computer.
It is important that you never click on the advertisements popping up, and you should never download any freebies off of the Internet. Each freebie you download has a risk of containing the spyware that can immediately infect your computer. Allowing spyware into your computer depends a lot on you and how you handle it. If you practice caution and discipline while surfing the Internet, that malicious spyware will not have the opportunity to works its way into your computer system at all.
Peter Wendt is a writer and researcher. If you are in need of spyware for your computer, Wendt recommends reaching out to Bedrock IT for quality IT consulting in Ottawa.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Ethical Hacking Institute - The New School in Cyberspace

There can be no denial that we live in an era of cyber warfare. You can have little doubt that our era is truly digital. However not everyone is connected to the Internet or using smart phones yet. Not many are aware of the term hacking or how hacking is affecting us and how ethical hacking can make our lives better. We are living within a system and a domain that is too dependable on technology.
Hacking is the new power. It has surfaced as one of the major and prominent cyber crimes which need to be countered. Heard of the saying, diamonds can only cut diamonds; similarly hackers can only prevent hacking. Well does that surprise you? The right term is ethical hacking. Ethical hacking training schools have come forward to produce trained professional hackers directly making our lives a lot more secured.
Among all the crimes that are topping the chart, computer hacking is a serious cyber crime. These effects are manifested in a number of ways which are mostly negative.
Effects of Hacking
  • Corporate Websites or Governmental Websites
Hacking websites of government companies, Software corporate companies can make the site inaccessible.
  • Penetration into the Security System
The hacker can directly shut down the site without even directly penetrating into the security system of the site.
  • Generation of False Traffic
Illegal hackers generate false traffic. This method denies service attack and the capacity of the site to deal with requests is exceeded.
  • Hacking Software
Hacking of software systems through forced or illegal penetration into the database of a company is a growing menace in the cyberspace.
  • Shutdown of Online Services
Hacking can lead to the theft of identifying information or the shutdown of online services.
  • Information Hacking
Those who are not the direct victims of hacking can also be affected due to system of information hacking.
As a preventive measure a lot of companies are now seeking services from trained and certified hackers. Only a skilled hacker can fight against another skilled hacker. The ethical hacking institutes are producing effective and trained hackers. They are trained to assess the damage of the site or the software system done by a hacker. Then the security holes in the sites are corrected. The process may take a few weeks to restore the site.
The ethical school of hackers have come up with several hacking courses that train the students on phishing, Google hacking, session hijacking, vulnerability assessment, buffer overflows, spying technologies, hacking database servers, patch management and creating security policies and many more. These hacking courses are in great demand and many are taking up the white hat hacking jobs as a serious profession. Thus, white hat hackers can be considered as life saviors from illegal hacking that has made our online lives perilous.
Kylie Taylor is a consistent web article writer and gives authentic information on ethical hacking training and ethical hacking institutes. You can get a complete guide for studying ethical hacking and details of courses from Indian school of ethical hacking.