Sometimes, using the internet can be troublesome. Spyware or adware AdWare.Win32.Altnet.p is a generic term typically describing software whose purpose is to collect demographic and usage information from your computer, usually for advertising purposes. The term is also used to describe software that ‘sneaks’ onto the system or performs other activities hidden to the user. Spyware apps are usually bundled as a hidden component in mis-labeled “freeware” and shareware applications1 downloaded from the Internet–a spyware module may be active on your computer at this moment without your knowledge. These modules are almost always installed on the system secretively, suggesting that spyware companies know how users feel about such software and figure that the best/only way to ensure its widespread use is to prevent the end-user from discovering it.
User-Hostile Behavior . Many adware apps install separate advertising components on your system, that run–downloading ads and wasting system resources–even if you’re not using the software that installed them. Often, these components remain installed and continue to perform their unsightly duties even after the associated app has been uninstalled! Some adware companies have even gone so far as to create “Advertising Trojan Horses“, virus-like software programs that stealthily install themselves on your computer to perform unwanted advertising functions and violate your privacy whether you’ve installed the advertising-supported software or not. Advertising trojans make clandestine connections to adservers behind your back, consume precious network bandwidth and may compromise the security of your data. The latest versions of these “ad-viruses” operate in full stealth and are nearly impossible to detect without advanced knowledge of the system environment. These include the TimeSink/Conducent TSADBOT and the Aureate advertising trojans. One spyware module has been known to spoof a Windows system process so that it cannot be terminated and does not appear on Windows’ End Task (Ctrl-Alt-Del) dialogue. Spyware modules have been implicated in computer problems including system slowdown, Illegal Operation errors, browser crashes, and even the “Blue Screen Of Death”. While normal system stability has usually returned when the interfering spyware modules were deleted, one spyware product in particular will disable your Internet access if you try to delete it!