Spyware is a category of cyber threats that describes malicious programs designed to infect PC systems and then initiate illegal activities on them. In most of the cases, the functionality of such threats depends on the intentions of their vendors: some part of spyware threats can be used to collect personal information (logins, passwords and other personally identifiable data) and then send it to their owners through the background Internet connections, while other spyware viruses can track their victims and collect information about their browsing habits. They are used to track people and record their mostly visited web sites and actions that are taken when visiting each of them. This information is mostly used for marketing and advertising of various parties, so spyware can also lead you to an increased amount of spam.

Some part of programs shouldn't be considered spyware threats, no matter that they are capable of collecting non-personally identifiable information about the user. Be sure that they do not steal names, contacts or any other details about the user, so, therefore, they cannot violate your privacy. There are lots of legal advertising applications or adware that should be added to this category. Although legal ad-supported programs are capable of spying on PC users, they shouldn't be accused of privacy violation.

Ways that are used by spyware to infect computers

Spyware parasites can infect the system without users' approval. These pests are capable of infecting their target PC systems with the help of these techniques:

1. Misleading marketing. There are lots of spyware developers that seek to deceive the user by presenting their spyware programs as useful tools, for example, a powerful web search service, fast download manager or a reliable Internet accelerator. Users download and install such programs. However, practically all of them appear to be either completely useless or ineffective. Although the most of such programs can be uninstalled manually, their malicious components stay in the system and remain fully functional.

2. Software bundles. There are lots of free programs that are bundled with with dangerous add-ons, extensions and plugins. They are presented as components that are needed by the host program to work properly. Unfortunately but the most of such add-ons are actually third-party spyware parasites. Uninstalling the host application does not remove the spyware.

3. Security vulnerabilities. They and vulnerabilities of the web browser have been used for spreading different threats, including spyware. Their vendors run insecure web sites filled with malicious code or distribute unsafe pop-ups, banner ads and links via email messages. Whenever the user visits such a site or clicks on such pop-up ad, a harmful script drops spyware virus. The user cannot notice anything suspicious, as such viruses do not display any setup wizards, dialogs or warnings.

4. Other threats. It is also known that some types of spyware have been actively distributed by other viruses. Trojans, worms, and backdoors are the most dangerous viruses that can cause infiltration of spyware.

What spyware threats can be used for: 

  • Stealing sensitive information. Such programs are interested in personal information, such as logins, passwords, banking data and similar information. In addition, they can monitor user's online activity, track his or hers web browsing and send all collected data to its remote server.
  • Showing undesirable advertisements. Spyware can display large amount of annoying pop-up ads. Such activity is mostly related to adware parasites. 
  • Redirecting users to questionable or malicious websites against their will. In addition, some types of spyware threats are capable of changing web browser's settings and altering the default search provider and the home page. 
  • Creating numerous links in victim's search results and redirecting his/her to needed places (third-party spyware sites, related websites and other domains).
  • Causing modifications of essential system settings. These changes can decrease overall security and initiate performance-related issues.  
  • Connecting to a compromised computer through its backdoors. The most of spyware threats are capable of giving hackers a remote access to the system without users' knowledge. 
  • Degrading overall system performance and causing its instability. 

Examples of spyware threats:

There are thousands of different spyware parasites. The following examples illustrate how treacherous and harmful spyware can be.

Security Bytes 2015 is the spyware threat that hails from the huge family of similar viruses. All of these threats are used to scare people into purchasing their licensed versions. However, they can also cause redirects to malicious websites that are promoting other questionable tools. As soon as Security Bytes 2015 infect computer, it drops its files and starts showing fake system scanners. These scanners are followed by fake notifications reporting about hundreds of infected files. From the first sight, Security Bytes 2015 may look like a very useful application. However, it seeks the only thing - to steal the money and trick the user into revealing his or hers passwords, bank account details and other personal data. 

HDD Repair is a malicious program that can also be categorized as spyware. It made the headlines because of its misleading claims offering people to improve the functionality of their computers. Once this threat infects computer, it offers checking the system for bad files and useless registry entries that are typically left on the system after installing and uninstalling different programs. In addition, it reports about enormous quantity of threats and offers removing them with the help of its paid version. Various HDD Repair variants are also bundled with other ad-supported software and can get into the system from insecure web sites. P

Windows AntiBreach Module spyware is targeted at scary PC users who seek to fix their computers. Its description says that the program was created for helping people to improve their security but this is a lie. If you really want to fix your machine, you should stay away from this program and run a full system scan with the reputable anti-spyware in order to remove malicious files of this spyware parasite.

Spyware removal tips:

As it was said above, spyware parasites are dangerous viruses that cannot be removed with the help of manual removal methods or regular antivirus products. To remove such pests, you need to install special anti-spyware tools (spyware removers) that are capable of scanning the system in similar way as advanced security software. Such programs also have special parasite signature databases that allow them to detect and eliminate the most of the latest spyware threats. Here are the most powerful spyware removers: SpyHunter, Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

In some cases even a spyware remover can fail to help you get rid of a particular parasite. That could happen because of advanced techniques used by spyware to prevent its removal. Beware that such programs can block your scanner, hide their files and use other techniques for preventing their elimination.  

Newest Spyware

AVLab Internet Security removal steps

December 18th, 2014. What is AVLab Internet Security? AVLab Internet Security is a computer virus, which seeks to swindle people's money. It can be categorized as a rogue anti-spyware due to the fact that it seeks to imitate a genuine anti-spyware program. Beware that it's just another 'child' from a serious... More...

AVC Plus removal steps

December 17th, 2014. What is AVC Plus? AVC Plus is a rogue anti-spyware, which was released in the middle of December. It seems that it hails from a seriously popular group of malwares called Braviax. All threats that belong to this family share almost identical GUI, display similar pop-up notifications and... More...

Remove Security Bytes 2015

December 16th, 2014. What is Security Bytes 2015? At the beginning of this post, we want to say that we haven't get Security Bytes 2015's example yet. that's why we can't claim that this virus is real. Nevertheless, the appearance of this name in some of security forums made us to create this post. If you think... More...

DATABASE OF Spyware PARASITES

Total Spyware parasites in our DB: 127


    1
  • A-Secure 2015 December 2nd, 2014 | No Comments
    What is A-Secure 2015? A-Secure 2015 is a fake security program that belongs to a known family of rogues, whi...

  • Adio Registry Optimizer May 21st, 2009 | 1 Comments
    Adio Registry Optimizer is a rogue Windows registry repair software. Usually, it is promoted through the use o...

  • AIM Logger February 19th, 2009 | 1 Comments
    AIM Logger is a commercial spyware program that records all AOL Instant Messenger online conversations. The lo...

  • All-In-One Spy December 20th, 2007 | No Comments
    This commercial spyware is designed for monitoring actions, performed with computer. The program can log keyst...

  • ALSEDI Desktop Adviser February 9th, 2006 | No Comments
    ALSEDI Desktop Adviser is a commercial computer surveillance program that takes screenshots of user activity r...

  • AntiSpyCheck March 3rd, 2012 | 12 Comments
    AntiSpyCheck is rogue security application and although it claims to be spyware scanner as well as spam filter...

  • Antivirus Pro 2009 December 29th, 2008 | No Comments
    Antivirus Pro 2009 is a fake spyware remover program. Application is advertised through the use of trojans tha...

  • Antivirus Security June 30th, 2009 | No Comments
    Antivirus Security is dangerous malware, fake anti-spyware program. This application is just a new variant of ...

  • Antivirus XP 2008 March 19th, 2012 | No Comments
    Antivirus XP 2008 is a new rogue anti-spyware application that is advertised by malicious websites. Everything...

  • Ashlt June 30th, 2005 | No Comments
    This parasite belongs to the spyware category. It is designed to steal user sensitive information and transfer...

  • Atdmt February 23rd, 2011 | 2 Comments
    Atdmt is a low risk tracking cookie that monitors user’s Internet activity or browsing habits and collec...

  • AVbytes Vista Antivirus 2015 December 2nd, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AVbytes Vista Antivirus 2015? AVbytes Vista Antivirus 2015 is a dangerous application, whic...

  • AVbytes Vista Protection 2015 December 3rd, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AVbytes Vista Protection 2015? AVbytes Vista Protection 2015 is a rogue anti-spyware, which belo...

  • AVbytes Win 7 Protection 2015 December 5th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AVbytes Win 7 Protection 2015? AVbytes Win 7 Protection 2015 is a dangerous application, which s...

  • AVbytes Win 8 Antivirus 2015 December 2nd, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AVbytes Win 8 Antivirus 2015? AVbytes Win 8 Antivirus 2015 is a new rogue anti-spyware, which ac...

  • AVbytes Win 8 Protection 2015 December 5th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AVbytes Win 8 Protection 2015? AVbytes Win 8 Protection 2015 is a dangerous virus, which is cate...

  • AVbytes XP Antivirus 2015 December 2nd, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AVbytes XP Antivirus 2015? AVbytes XP Antivirus 2015 is a seriously dangerous rogue anti-spyware...

  • AVbytes XP Protection 2015 December 4th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AVbytes XP Protection 2015? AVbytes XP Protection 2015 is classified as a malicious application that ...

  • AVC Plus December 17th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AVC Plus? AVC Plus is a rogue anti-spyware, which was released in the middle of December. It see...

  • AVLab Internet Security December 18th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is AVLab Internet Security? AVLab Internet Security is a computer virus, which seeks to swindle people's...

  • Belcaro GoldenRetriever December 9th, 2011 | No Comments
    This spyware is designed to collect information about users behaviour. It connects itself to internet, and spi...

  • Blackbox June 23rd, 2005 | No Comments
    Blackbox is a spyware, published by cablehead software. Apparently it is a legitimate software that must be in...

  • Boss Watcher v1.0 October 15th, 2008 | No Comments
    Boss Watcher v1.0 is a remote spying tool. It is promoted as a great program to track employers and other peop...

  • Check Disk November 22nd, 2010 | No Comments
    Check Disk is a rogue computer defragmenter and analysis program that deliberately reports fake hard drive, Wi...

  • Conducent TimeSink September 24th, 2013 | No Comments
    Conducent Timesink is a potentially unwanted application, which is also categorized as adware or spyware. This...

  • Data Recovery virus August 3rd, 2012 | 1 Comments
    Data Recovery virus is a fake PC optimization tool created to make you forget about normal routine on your com...

  • Disk Doctor December 7th, 2010 | 2 Comments
    Disk Doctor is a rogue computer repair and analysis program from the same family as Win HDD. Disk Doctor uses ...

  • Disk Helper January 16th, 2011 | No Comments
    DiskHelper seems to be another fake defragmenter from this huge family of scams that report about hard disk er...

  • Disk OK January 10th, 2011 | No Comments
    Disk OK is a rogue disk defragmenter that reports fake hard drive errors and other system problems to scare yo...

  • Disk Optimizer January 14th, 2011 | No Comments
    Disk Optimizer is a rogue disk defragmenter and computer optimization program that deliberately reports fake s...

  • Disk Recovery March 19th, 2012 | No Comments
    Disk Recovery is a rogue disk defragmenter that deliberately reports fake hard drive and system errors. It wan...

  • Disk Repair December 22nd, 2010 | No Comments
    Disk Repair is a fake computer optimization program that displays false errors to scare you into thinking that...

  • e2give September 22nd, 2005 | 4 Comments
    e2give is a spyware program that tracks user Internet activity and collects his confidential information. The ...

  • Expedioware December 3rd, 2004 | No Comments
    This spyware gathers information about the user's behaviour (what web sites were visited, what URL you are lin...

  • Express Antivirus 2009 December 31st, 2008 | No Comments
    Express Antivirus 2009 is a rogue anti-spyware application probably created by the same group of scamers who c...

  • Fast Disk January 11th, 2011 | No Comments
    Fast Disk is a rogue application that reports fake hard drive errors and registry errors to make you think tha...

  • GuardBytes Plus December 15th, 2014 | No Comments
    What is GuardBytes Plus? GuardBytes Plus is a rogue anti-spyware, which was released in the beginning of...

  • HDD Control November 26th, 2010 | 1 Comments
    HDD Control is a rogue computer optimization program that pretends to scan your hard drive and registry for er...

  • HDD Defragmenter December 9th, 2010 | 1 Comments
    HDD Defragmenter is a rogue computer error repair and optimization tool that reports fake Windows registry err...

  • HDD Diagnostic December 7th, 2010 | No Comments
    HDD Diagnostic is a freshly released malware which hails from the tens of fake defragmenters where the latest ...

  • HDD Fix January 3rd, 2011 | No Comments
    HDD Fix is a fake disk defragmentation program that displays false errors to scare you into thinking that ther...

  • HDD Low December 27th, 2010 | No Comments
    HDD Low is a fake computer defragmentation program that is installed via Trojans that display fake error messa...

  • HDD OK January 9th, 2011 | No Comments
    HDD OK is a rogue computer defragmentation tool that reports fake hard drive errors, registry errors and other...

  • HDD Plus December 8th, 2010 | No Comments
    HDD Plus is a fake system optimization program that displays fake error messages and alerts to make you think ...

  • HDD Repair December 10th, 2010 | No Comments
    HDD Repair is a rogue computer optimization program that hijacks your computer in order to gain money by selli...

  • HDD Rescue December 13th, 2010 | No Comments
    HDD Rescue is a rogue optimization and defragmentation program from the same family as HDD Defragmenter and HD...

  • HDD Scan December 6th, 2010 | No Comments
    It seems that fake system defragmenters is a new trend in a world of cyber criminals. Another rogue program sp...

  • HDD Tools December 15th, 2010 | No Comments
    HDD Tools is a rogue defragmentation program from the same family as as Smart HDD and Win Defragmenter. It wil...

  • HDDoctor December 21st, 2010 | No Comments
    HDDoctor is a rogue hard disk repair and optimization tool that reports fake system errors. It will pretend to...

  • Heoms November 11th, 2005 | No Comments
    Heoms is a spyware trojan that tracks user Internet activity and records addresses of visited web sites. Gathe...

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