Fighting spyware in the UK

Fighting spyware in the UK

Summary: Spyware victims in the UK now have a way to fight back. It started with one person's letter to her Member of Parliament (MP) That person is spyware activist (sounds better than zealot, eh?), and Microsoft Security MVP Gwynne Brothwood, known online as Nellie2

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TOPICS: Malware
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Spyware victims in the UK now have a way to fight back.  It started with one person's letter to her Member of Parliament (MP)  That person is spyware activist (sounds better than zealot, eh?), and Microsoft Security MVP Gwynne Brothwood, known online as Nellie2. Gwynne is a teacher at Malware Removal University, a website and forum that teaches spyware removal and HijackThis log analysis.

Gwynne was inspired by Nick's Security Blog post on fighting back against SpyAxe and wrote to her MP, Andrew Miller, asking what UK citizens could do to fight spyware.  To her surprise, Mr. Miller invited to meet with him to talk about the spyware problem.  Mr. Miller is quite concerned about spyware and would like to know the scope of the problem.  Now Gwynne is asking for comments on her blog from UK citizens with spyware and Malware Removal University has created special forums for people to post their experiences with spyware, particularly the super rogue anti-spyware apps like SpyAxe, SpySheriff, etc., and apps marketed by spyware like WinFixer.

A few days ago, the BBC News carried an article about the problem of spyware including Gwynne's efforts and Mr. Miller's reaction.

Andrew Miller MP wants UK web users to see a direct route from infection to diagnosis, official complaint and, he hopes, possible criminal action by the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit.
 
The government has launched a portal site for users, called Get Safe Online, but making it stand out from the welter of self-help and self-harm websites cluttering the net is a tough proposition.

Mr. Miller said that the challenges of streamlining even a UK-wide fight against spyware were "enormous".

"People will need to take advice and receive support from well-meaning people not working for government agencies," he said.

"That kind of co-operation is going to be a pre-requisite."

The article has a form where users can submit comments about spyware.  I urge concerned UK citizens to send comments and write to your MP.

Topic: Malware

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  • spyware

    How about a government-sanctioned logo which valid sites could put in the corner..good for several reasons:

    1) people know that the site has been verified and contains REAL programs not trojans.
    2) they know the site won't offer links to 'suspect' sites
    3) anyone using the logo without permission is DIRECTLY breaking the law and can be shut down fairly quickly using existing copyright+fraud legislation (the UK has agreements with lots of different countries to fight fraud).
    geldo