The state of spyware according to Webroot

The state of spyware according to Webroot

Summary: Webroot released its quarterly report on spyware today, claiming spyware infection rates are at their highest since 2004.  During the second quarter of 2006, Webroot researchers found that 89 percent of consumer PCs were infected with an average of 30 pieces of spyware – a slight increase from the first quarter of 2006 when infection rates returned to alarmingly high levels after a supposed lull in spyware infections during the second half of 2005.

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TOPICS: Malware
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Webroot released its quarterly report on spyware today, claiming spyware infection rates are at their highest since 2004. 

During the second quarter of 2006, Webroot researchers found that 89 percent of consumer PCs were infected with an average of 30 pieces of spyware – a slight increase from the first quarter of 2006 when infection rates returned to alarmingly high levels after a supposed lull in spyware infections during the second half of 2005. According to the report, new distribution channels, advanced spyware technologies and a reliance on free anti–spyware programs are all contributing factors to the startling increase.

The report states that the number of malicious websites increased from last quarter reaching 527,136.  Webroot claims the most prevalent trojan is Trojan–Downloader–Zlob with over a million traces detected. I don't know about Webroot's other statistics, but I do believe they are correct in saying Zlob is the most prevalent trojan. Zlob is typically responsible for downloading the rogue anti-spyware programs, like SpywareQuake, SpyFalcon, and so on. It seems like every week there is a new rogue anti-spyware program, typically downloaded by Zlob trojans. The most recent example I've seen, VirusRescue, has been written up here complete with screenshots.

Topic: Malware

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  • Yes but...

    I like Webroot. It's what I use. However, they classify tracking cookies, which are relatively innocuous, as spyware, and this would skew the statistics quite a bit. Sure, you might not want them on your computer, but there is a [b]big[/b] difference between a tracking cookie and, say, a keylogger. According to the report, we still have a [i]trojan[/i] infection rate of 31% - which is considerable - but not so alarming. Webroot should have made this distinction early in their report.
    fishellr
  • Malware

    Something has infected my Windows XP Home desktop so that right clicking hangs up the computer, and Windows Explorer so that Search is at the top of the click list (instead of OPENm as it used to be).

    Anyone got any advice on programs to repair this kind of thing? I don't waht to reinstall XP and lose all the other stuff on my boot drive.
    gfoley
    • Knoppix

      There are a number of options available. There is a blog somewhere around here on recovering data using a knoppix disk. If you have access to another computer you can move all of your files to the other machine without actually booting into windows using the live disc. If you don't have access to another computer you may want to buy an external harddrive and move it there instead. I heard a while back about a live disc, possibly from knoppix that has spyware/malware and virus scanner on it that looks in the windows paritition and cleans it out. You may want to try a google search for that, something like "live disc spyware"
      Rokstar83
    • Tools to use

      Xoftspy
      Counterspy
      AVG Anti-Virus
      SocketShield
      Spy Protector
      Outpost Firewall

      All of these products have anti-spyware and anti-trojan stuff built into them. They all also have totally free versions or at least free trials. Download them using a clean PC, burn them onto a CD or put them onto a USB Pen drive, and then install them on your infected machine and let them go to work. Use them all. Some catch some things that others dont. The Outpost Firewall is especially good because its a firewall with anti-trojan capabilities built into it.

      Finally, when you have control of your PC back again, use Ad-Aware to sweep your computer free of all adware programs.

      You can use your keyboard to navigate around your computer and do things on it until you get control back of your mouse. You can also boot your computer into SAFE mode to load some of the programs - just make sure to use SAFE mode with NETWORK support.
      kokuryu
    • spyware removal help forums

      gfoley, you can also get help at forums such as mine.

      http://spywarewarrior.com/index.php

      This may be helpful, too.

      http://spywarewarrior.com/sww-help.htm
      Suzi_z