How Many Problems Does Spyware Cause?

from the too-many dept

While most of this article covers standard ground about anti-spyware legislations and software programs (though, oddly, it does not mention the two most popular spyware programs: AdAware and Spybot Search & Destroy), at the very beginning it notes two interesting tidbits on the impact of spyware. Dell claims that 12% of their calls now involve questions about spyware (meaning it's good that Dell has changed their "don't talk about spyware" policy) while Microsoft claims that 50% of PC crashes are actually due to spyware. While this might seem like a convenient out for Microsoft (whose machines certainly crashed plenty in the time before spyware), it does indicate just how troublesome spyware is on many computers. The worst part isn't just the problems it causes, but the fact that most users have no idea that it's even on their machines at all.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2004 @ 10:23am

    No Subject Given

    It is our #1 issue with supporting corporate level VPN remote access.

    Install base of several thousand VPN users.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dorpus, 26 Apr 2004 @ 11:08am

    HP printers come with spyware

    I bought an HP deskjet 5150 printer over the weekend -- a basic desktop printer. XP didn't recognize the printer, so I used the install CD, and it installed a lot of extra junk that inserts itself into the taskbar, periodically asks you if you want to receive update notices. Even if you check no, it keeps asking you anyway. I was able to find something called a "basic driver" from hp's web site, though installing it was not straightforward. I haven't printed too many times yet, but I fear it may "fail" to recognize the driver again next time, in which case I'm stuck with the spyware version.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Dan, 26 Apr 2004 @ 11:16am

      Re: HP printers come with spyware

      Yeah, this crap drives me nuts as well. My Dad just purchased a Creative Audigy 2 Platinum sound card with a breakout box and I warned him to only install the drivers. He did so but couldn't get sound from any DVD's he played. So he went and installed the whole package from the install CD and the Creative software has taken over his system. It has installed stuff to run every time the computer boots up, slowing boot up times. It has also taken over file associations so that Creative's software is called instead of what he used to have. I really hate this crap and it's because of MicroSHAFT! Linux hsa it so that only the user can choose what program is associated with which file type. No program can change those without root access. I guess this is just one more reason why I am learning Linux to leave MicroSHAFT and it's crap products behind.

      Dan

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        dorpus, 26 Apr 2004 @ 11:19am

        Re: HP printers come with spyware

        You're right, but the trade-off is finding driver software at all for Linux. In the linux spirit of things, I guess you're supposed to write the software yourself?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2004 @ 11:47am

          Re: HP printers come with spyware

          You're right, but the trade-off is finding driver software at all for Linux

          Which is why people who actually know what they are doing use FreeBSD and not the cobbled together GNU/Linux.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          PhuzzyLogic, 26 Apr 2004 @ 11:51am

          Re: HP printers come with spyware

          You would be very suprised at what is out for Linux. Even for mose of the new hardware on the market.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            dorpus, 26 Apr 2004 @ 12:06pm

            Re: HP printers come with spyware

            Right, but you either have to know where to look, or know the right people, because of the elitist attitude prevalent among linuxists.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              AMetamorphosis, 26 Apr 2004 @ 12:39pm

              Re: HP printers come with spyware


              I think thats part of the linux's appeal to their end users ...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              thecaptain, 26 Apr 2004 @ 12:50pm

              Re: HP printers come with spyware

              Only when you're a lazy bum who feels entitled to have everything handed to you.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                dorpus, 26 Apr 2004 @ 4:24pm

                Re: HP printers come with spyware

                You're right, why use a wheel when you can re-invent it yourself?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 26 Apr 2004 @ 11:32pm

                  spyware problems

                  I recently had a pop-under launching every time I closed Internet Explorer. Downloaded 4 different spyware programs: turns out I had 15+ spyware programs, including a keystroke logger (!), even though I've been (what I thought) was careful about these things. Now I'm running Spy Sweeper all the time - it caught something trying to install just today. Jesus, this is worse than viruses! I've never had that many virus problems.

                  Oh - here's the kicker, none of the 4 programs caught the pop-under. I used "Hijack this" to locate a program in my IE start-up (?) called "smhearts.exe", which looked suspicious... and it was the cause.

                  I think the biggest problem is the sweeper programs can't keep like the virus scanners seem to be doing...

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        psydr, 27 Apr 2004 @ 5:44pm

        Re: HP printers come with spyware

        Blaming MS is not the way to go here. MS makes a portion of the system available to other applications (i.e. file associations). This IS a good thing. Now, if a company abuses this privledge, it's not MS' fault. The company producing the application SHOULD make certain options available to the consumer and NOT make assumptions of what those choices might be.

        That said, I am NOT a MS fan. Never have been, and most likely, never will be.

        ~Psydr

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        MAP, 17 Jan 2007 @ 7:03am

        Re: Re: HP printers come with spyware

        Linx is not ready for the casual computer user yet

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan, 26 Apr 2004 @ 11:10am

    My sister had problems

    Hi,

    My sister started having problems with her system. Since I had only just reinstalled Windows and everything else a few weeks before it was nuts. A message kept popping up saying that it couldn't connect to the server and wouldn't say what program was trying to connect nor which server it was trying to connect to. It would pop up hundreds of times making it impossible to do anything at all with her computer. She is on dial-up and not online which is why it couldn't connect to the server. I downloaded Spybot S&R and Adaware and their latest updates and ran over and installed and ran them. There were around 20 spyware programs on her system causing crashes and slowing her system down. Her antivirus even found one of the program and called it a trojan but couldn't keep the thing from coming back after it was removed. I quarentined the spyware and all of her problems have gone away. I told her to update the spyware removal tools every now and then and have them check her system. It's totally nuts that companies think that they can install buggy and spying non-removable programs on a system that is not theirs without the owners strict understanding permission. I think spyware should be illegal because it causes major problems and eats up CPU cycles and therefore costs the owner of the machines money because it takes longer to get any task done. May spyware rot in HELL!!!!

    Dan

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Frank, 26 Apr 2004 @ 12:51pm

    a spyware caused by Norton!

    When I uninstalled Norton Anti-virus, and then used Spybot's host file feature to block the Norton servers from accessing my machine, I started getting error windows upon bootup from a program called Xtreamlok. After researching on the net, it turns out that Xtreamlok is a piece of spyware that comes with Norton that can only be removed by taking out a few entries from the registry. Xtreamlok does not show up on any program menus and is not found by ad-aware or spybot. After doing the registry fix, my system no longer showed the error window and everything's fine. No more Norton for me...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      SMaddox05, 4 Jul 2004 @ 2:15pm

      Re: a spyware caused by Norton!

      spyware? nonono, you didn't do much research. xtreamlok is a program that prevents, or trys to prevent hacking of bundled products. It uses encryption and other things to keep one from reverse engineering programs. Nortan uses it so that a virus cant disable nortan and then do whatever it wants. When you uninstall nortan, you have to uninstal xtreamlok as well. You know its not spywar because it is shown in the add/remove programs applet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Josh, 1 Aug 2005 @ 11:01am

        Re: a spyware caused by Norton!

        Hate to tell you, but xtreamlok is spyware. I have not installed any programs in months, and all of a sudden two days ago, I started getting xtreamlok pop ups which crash whatever program I am trying to run. I tried playing some of my old home movie files that I had stored on my hard drive, and what do you know!? Xtreamlok thinks that my home videos are illegal! I did not install anything to get this program on my computer... so if everyone still insists that they arent sending this program out via spyware then you have another thing coming.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Teresa, 6 May 2007 @ 9:12pm

      Re: a spyware caused by Norton!

      I am having the exact same problem, and I also used Norton in the past. I have since stopped using Norton and started using McAfee instead. I have removed Norton from my computer but still have the same problem upon startup with Xtreamlok. What exact entries did you take out of the registry and how do I go about removing them? Thanks in advance.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    wild bill, 21 Aug 2004 @ 8:15am

    dso exploit

    spybot S&R found dso exploit in the regester but it cannot remove it..it is in the internet explorer and microsoft doesn't know how to remove it do you????

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Allen, 7 Nov 2016 @ 7:25pm

    Spyware can completely ruin a PC...

    In many cases, spyware (and malware of other kinds) can completely ruin a PC or computer when it's not taken care of properly. If this happens, it may require the purchase of a new machine or an expensive visit to an IT professional!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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