Posts Tagged ‘spyware removal programs’

.Duncan is a resilient Trojan

.Duncan is in a class of adware called “Trojans.” These programs pretend to be a service of some sort for the computer, and are often difficult to remove. This application is especially difficult to remove, as some “top of the line” spyware removal programs can’t touch it. In fact, for one of its aliases, a specialized adware removal program was created.

.Duncan is a variant of ConHook, and has a very familiar alter-ego to adware professionals: It also shows up as Vundo on a Norton Spyware scan. Vundo is a particularly tricky adware, so much so that a special program, called Vundofix, was created for its removal.

This program, after installation, disguises itself as a Browser Helper Object, or BHO. It also hides as a winlogon notify handler. In less fancy terms, it hijacks your browser. It also can download more malware onto your computer, possibly viruses. And, of course, there are the pop ups that will join in the fray.

When your browser gets hijacked, more often that not, your home page gets reset to one of the program’s choosing. Also, it will usually redirect your browser to pages where its products are being advertised, and can also block some other pages from showing up on your browser. Additionally, it can monitor your browsing activity this way. Of course, this info will get uploaded to a remote server and get processed to determine your browsing preferences, just so it can spit back advertisements that suit your preferences.

Most of the time, when adware downloads stuff to your computer, it’s usually more advertisements. However, there are some particular types of adware under the “Trojan” category that can download anything onto your computer, from advertisements to hacker tools and viruses. .Duncan is one that can get the really nasty stuff on your computer.

A pretty standard feature with nearly all adware infections is the pop up advertisements. I use this to generically describe the various forms of ads you can get from adware. You can also have popunder ads, banner ads, and your computer’s wallpaper can be changed to an advertisement! In this case, as said before, the pop ups you get are specialized based on your browsing habits.

As I said earlier, this is one tough bug. From everything else I described, it can be easily surmised that this one can take out a huge chunk of your memory. It’s definitely not one to keep. The best program to do that is ZookaWare PC Cleaner.

ZookaWare PC Cleaner is everything you need for dealing with spyware in one package. We don’t just stay ahead of the competition in our updates, we keep up with the spyware! When a new one is created, we know about it within minutes, and you would be protected that quickly! Not only do we keep abreast of spyware updates, we also have SpyGuard, a feature that protects you from getting infected to begin with. Normally, this would be a separate program!

Spyware Programs Making You Crazy?

Spyware programs come in many shapes and sizes. Some are very obvious, like those that flood your computer screen with unwanted advertisements. Other less flamboyant types of spyware programs lurk in your system, secretly gathering your personal information.

Depending on who you talk to, spyware programs can also be called adware (advertisement+software) and malware (malicious+software). No matter what you call them, they are bad news.

In general, spyware is defined as a program that has been downloaded to your computer without consent. It is virtual hijacking. The spyware programs materialize in various ways. While some are concerned with surveillance, others take control of your computer.

Some spyware tracks your every online move. This is usually done for the purpose of gaining information about the types of sites you visit. This information can be collected and then sold to advertisers. The advertisers use the spyware programs to figure out how to market to whom. So if you’ve ever been surfing the web for a cruise vacation and then found yourself being bombarded with vacation package popups, it’s likely you have spyware or adware.

Another way spyware programs work is by literally taking control of your computer. Not only does it become saturated with popups, it also may be nearly unusable because of error messages or other out of the ordinary occurrences. This type of breakdown in system performance makes it easy for the user to identify that spyware is causing the problem.

The worst kind of spyware programs are called keyloggers. These spyware programs not only secretly record your every keystroke, they also send that information back to the perpetrating hacker. This means that everything from your email, to bank passwords, to credit card numbers are gathered by the keylogger. To make matters worse, you might have no idea of the presence of the keylogger until it is too late.

Preventing and Combating Spyware Programs

One way to avoid spyware programs is by using a Macintosh or a PC with a non-Windows operating system. Spyware programs are mostly written for PCs with Windows since those are the most prevalent among computer owners. However, if Macs or PC operating systems like Linux become more popular it is virtually guaranteed that spyware will become a major problem for these operating systems. Because Windows has the largest market share spyware is typically targetted for the Windows platform.

Some people recommend using Firefox as an alternative web browser. But, this won’t stop all spyware. Personally I use Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages.

Since hackers will probably adapt and eventually create spyware programs to work with other operating systems and web browsers, it’s a good idea to develop vigilant web surfing habits right away. These habits include the following:

* Be knowledgeable about the online sites you visit. If a site says you must download something to view the page, you are better off missing out on the website rather than putting your computer at risk for infection.

* Ignore pop-ups. Never follow a link or click “okay.” Just close the pop up and move on.

* Don’t open spam. Spammers are notorious for including spyware programs in their emails.

* Be careful when downloading. This especially includes unnecessary downloads like new toolbars and games.

* Run a regular scan for spyware. You protect your house and car from theft with a lock, why wouldn’t you protect your computer?

For the time being, however, spyware, adware, and malware is here to stay. In fact, most people who own a computer have encountered some sort of spyware.

Take the aforementioned steps in order to both eliminate current spyware programs and prevent future ones from infecting your system. After all, the many important pieces of information that are transferred via your computer and the Internet are worth protecting.