Monday, September 26, 2005

Webroot State of Spyware Report

On a flight from San Franciso to Washington Dulles I managed to read the latest State of Spyware report from Webroot Software. I'm not sure how I got the heavy printed version. Maybe it was sent courtesy of Richard Stiennon, who is Vice President of Threat Research. (That's an interesting title.)

I thought the report was useful. It provides a broad look at spyware, and specifics on several examples. It contains an excellent section on spyware-related legislation. The report provides plenty of background for management who need justification to spend money on spyware defenses. I even bought into the idea that automated spyware defenses are required.

>On a related note, the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report Volume VIII is available for download. I have not read this one yet. It is a huge .pdf though. I believe a report like that complements material from organizations like Webroot. Symantec takes a broader look at Internet threats. It also examines vulnerabilities (which we know are not threats).

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The main thing that makes me think automated spyware defenses are a good thing is that spyware can cause a lot of noise on IDS. Of course it depends on which IDS and how it is tuned, but I think reducing all that unwanted network traffic is a good thing.

John Ward said...

The problem with automated defenses is that spyware writers will always find a way around them. The problem with all foolproof plans is that they do not take in to account the ingenuity of fools. The end user will always find a way to get hit with some spyware. The government should go after the perpetrators of spyware since it is usually companies and advertising agencies behind them. It is like anything else in capitalism, if it becomes unprofitable, companies will cease to do it. If the government starts to hit the companies behind spyware, such as the companies that distribute spyware through their installation programs, websites, and companied that make use of the data retrieved through spyware, with large ridiculous fines, they will stop using them. Granted there is always that whole overseas thing, but it sends a message to US companies that aggressive marketing behavior that is intrusive on the property of others will not be tolerated. I think this has a better chance of succeeding than prosecuting hackers, although it has a snowballs chance in hell of ever being done.

spyware detection master said...

That's true. Hackers themselves are harder to trace. But for spyware that is bundled with software, this should be cut down. Meanwhile we have to bear with automated defenses and use manual removal techniques when things get serious.

tweedledeetweedledum said...
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Anonymous said...

I suppose automated searches of the Internet can help find malware, and automated client side tools can help identify known malware. However, both of these *generally* are tools that suffer from the "known bad" syndrome -- they only catch what they know is bad. Everything else is allowed.

The risk of using these tools is that pointy headed managers will assume they catch *all* bad code, and won't fund other defenses. Then they get 0wned.

These tools should come with warning labels. They are only part of a good defense.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I too hate spyware and adware and am always searching for spyware blaster related information. The more people around the world who become aware of spyware blaster the better.

Taylor said...

I personally use this Webroot spy sweeper... It is really very useful...