Yesterday, I’ve been reading and found a question that seemed pretty ridiculous. Some guy asked where he could download some spyware. Wow, I though, he must be crazy. Everyone is talking about spyware, malware and adware and it seems to be all over the Net. But only then I realized finding spyware was not as easy as it seems. Decided to check this out myself. I have googled for the most frequent spyware and found several lists, so out of these I made one by myself. Actually, PandaLabs most frequently detected spyware in 2006 and my list are adequate. Congratulations panda, you seem to have been one of the best spyware hunters last year.

Let’s take a look at the results I’ve came with. First place winner in this years the most spywarish elections is GATOR. It offers tons of free stuff and series of pop-up messages. In some cases, it replaces banners on the sites you visit by the malicious code itself. Brilliant idea, isn’t it?

Second and third place respectively goes for Ncase and Wupd. Free usage is offered for displaying hundreds of advertisements which are quite complicated to get rid off.

CWS, a well known adware program is on the first place of the list. It just loves to install itself, without users permission. Fifth place winner is EmediaCodec is similar to CWS, but is much more clever and uses various techniques to prevent it being detected by antivirus or antispyware.

Sixth on the list is Lop, adware with many variations. It usually installs a toolbar on Internet Explorer that allows user to search over the Net, but displays numerous advertising pop-ups, which are really annoying. Potentially unwanted Program Winantivirus is on the seventh place, it exploits application vulnerabilities in order to spread. This spyware can damage users’ system. Searchpmeup is the eight and it changes users’ homepage and default search engine settings. Winfixer2005, another PUP, scans computer for possible errors and then asks user to buy the software, cause his computer must be repaired. I know this works pretty well, but having in mind that there are no critical errors on the computer and that all errors Winfixer2005 find are fake, it is a very unfair way of earning money. Last, but not the best program on the list is, it installs a toolbar on the Internet Explorer and collects data about what pages user visits and how long he stays on it.

So these are the top10 spyware programs over the last year. Anyone interested in getting some spyware feel free to download one the programs above and you will find out what it means. I will probably post this list to the guy as well, I am sure he will be interested 🙂

To sum it up, 7 of 10 are adware programs, also 2 of the rest 3 are rogue antispyware programs are also getting very popular, they find some threats or errors, that actually does not exist and demands user to buy the software in order to fix it. Seems like such programs will continue to grow in the 2007 and 2008, so be careful!

Categories: Security

Giedrius Majauskas

I am a internet company owner and project manager living at Lithuania. I am interested in computer security, health and technology topics.


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