Definition: parasiteware

Parasiteware is a term used to describe any type of software or code that is engineered to attack and damage a computer system. It’s a software that is working without users permission and knowledge and undermines or removes another affiliate’s ability to compete by changing, intercepting or redirecting an affiliate link. It’s an unsolicited commercial software.
Parasiteware also might be installed without user’s knowledge and alters normal Internet browser functions. After self-installation it can do much more legal and illegal action, often for someone’s profit.

As a term is created from two words “parasite” and “ware” we may consider many malware as parasiteware. Any spyware that damages system, viruses, Trojans and worms and codes are parasiteware.

Difference between Spyware and Parasiteware
Spyware is a software for user’s monitoring and tracking. Spyware tracks passwords, credit card numbers (carding), monitors your keystrokes (keylogging), also may track personal information and third parties may use it for illegal purposes (identify theft). Parasiteware is a subsections of it and they main difference between them is that parasiteware damages your computer system while spyware only spies your habits online.

Installation of Parasiteware
There are several ways to get parasiteware into PC. You can download it together with music, movies, games or any other files using P2P file-sharing programs.Sometimes it is bundled with the freeware you are installing. Sometimes there is event a notification in EULA that along with software you get also a parasiteware, only it might be said in other form. But as people don’t like to read agreements so they get parasiteware without their knowledge only they give permission for installation of parasiteware. If you’re installing something without downloading the software, like “drive_by downloading” method, so can also catch a parasiteware along. Some parasiteware are very modern and advanced so they can bypass any anti-virus, anti-spyware or firewall protection and get installed into your system.

Am I infected with parasiteware?
If you’re concerned about safety of your PC, you should think are there any signs of being infected with parasiteware. If your computer runs slow, system crashes often and strange dialogs keeps on showing during the work you may start thinking about getting some anti-spyware program. Parasiteware also might cause flood of pop-ups, strange toolbars appearance and often changes of your homepage. It shows that you have some spyware or even a parasite on your PC. Scan your computer with anti-virus and anti-spyware and it will show you what you’ve got.

How can I protect myself from ParasiteWare?
As all spyware, parasiteware is designed to work and to install itself unnoticed. That’s why manual removal not always helps. You should use some software that would detect parasiteware, and would remove it. You should get installed this kind of software with firewalls protection not only when the problem comes, but you have to have it always if you are using Internet. There more that parasites and spywares on Internet and you are being an target for every of them, so you should under protection all the time.

It is also essential to check your web browser security settings. If you want to reduce risk, set them to “high” protection. For example, if you’re using Internet explorer go to Tools->Internet Options->Security and set the security level for the Internet Zone to 'High'.

As it was mentioned you must have anti-spyware and anti-virus softwares both installed into your computer system, because not all anti-virus detect harmful parasiteware and other spyware.

But before you get any of these software, first you should get some information about good and bad software. There are even some questionable anti-spyware programs, because they can be parasiteware themselves, like SpyBlast (which is parasite itself)or Spy Guardian Pro which always tell you that you have spyware (event the computer is totally clean) and tells more only after full version purchasing.

Known Parasiteware
ActualNames, ACXInstall, AdBreak, AdultLinks, AproposMedia, Aornum, ASpam, AutoSearch, BargainBuddy, BDE, BookedSpace, BrowserAid, BrowserToolbar, Bulla, ClickTheButton, ClientMan, CnsMin, CometCursor, Comload, CommonName, CoolWebSearch, CrackedEarth, CustomToolbar, Cytron, DailyWinner, DialerOffline, DialerActiveX, DialXS, DownloadPlus, DownloadReceiver, DownloadWare, E2Give, eStart, eXactSearch, ezCyberSearch, ezSearching, FavoriteMan, FlashTrack, FreeScratchAndWin, Gratisware, Gator, GlobalNetcom, PowerStrip, Pugi, RapidBlaster, SaveNow, SCBar, SearchAndBrowse, Searchex, SearchSquire, SearchWWW, ShopAtHomeSelect, ShopNav, SmartBrowser, SpyBlast, StarDialer,
StripPlayer, SubSearch, Surfairy, SuperBar, SVAPlayer, TinyBar, ToolbarCC, TopText, TOPicks, Transponder, Wazam, webHancer, Whazit, Winshow, Winupie, Wonderland, XDialer, XDiver, XLoader, Xupiter, ZeroPopUp, Zipclix, Zyncos and others.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

Julie Splinters is the News Editor of 2-spyware. Her bachelor was English Philology.

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