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Protect your computer from 1+ billion malware threats with Professional X Edition: spyware, adware, trojans, ransomware, hijackers, PUPs, and more.
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SUPERAntiSpyware specializes in unique and hard-to-find malware, identifying and removing instances of malicious threats including:
Spyware (a portmanteau for spying software) is software with malicious behavior that aims to gather information about a person or organization and send it to another entity in a way that harms the user—for example, by violating their privacy or endangering their device’s security. This behavior may be present in malware as well as in legitimate software. Websites may engage in spyware behaviors like web tracking. Hardware devices may also be affected. Spyware is frequently associated with advertising and involves many of the same issues. Because these behaviors are so common, and can have non-harmful uses, providing a precise definition of spyware is a difficult task
The first recorded use of the term spyware occurred on October 16, 1995 in a Usenet post that poked fun at Microsoft‘s business model. Spyware at first denoted software meant for espionage purposes. However, in early 2000 the founder of Zone Labs, Gregor Freund, used the term in a press release for the ZoneAlarm Personal Firewall. Later in 2000, a parent using ZoneAlarm was alerted to the fact that Reader Rabbit, educational software marketed to children by the Mattel toy company, was surreptitiously sending data back to Mattel. Since then, “spyware” has taken on its present sense.
According to a 2005 study by AOL and the National Cyber-Security Alliance, 61 percent of surveyed users’ computers were infected with form of spyware. 92 percent of surveyed users with spyware reported that they did not know of its presence, and 91 percent reported that they had not given permission for the installation of the spyware. As of 2006, spyware has become one of the preeminent security threats to computer systems running Microsoft Windows operating systems. Computers on which Internet Explorer (IE) is the primary browser are particularly vulnerable to such attacks, not only because IE was the most widely used, but because its tight integration with Windows allows spyware access to crucial parts of the operating system.
The Windows Registry contains multiple sections where modification of key values allows software to be executed automatically when the operating system boots. Spyware can exploit this design to circumvent attempts at removal. The spyware typically will link itself from each location in the registry that allows execution. Once running, the spyware will periodically check if any of these links are removed. If so, they will be automatically restored. This ensures that the spyware will execute when the operating system is booted, even if some (or most) of the registry links are removed