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  1. #1
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    I'm new to these boards, so forgive me if I'm re-adressing something that's been covered here in the past. But I saw an article today about spy-ware being attached to online greeting cards. Although the article deals mainly with spyware and mentions spouses spying on each other, it is still something that these companies that are distributing parasite-ware have considered and are using. The article is at:

    http://www.msnbc.com/news/828942.asp

    Be patient..the page loads slowly because it's MSNBC and it's dragging in banner ads from all over the place. ::Grin::

    Bruce

    DBS Design Group
    Los Angeles, CA

  2. #2
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    Great job! People are realizing the real threat of spyware versus the threat of adware.

    Programs that offer "remote monitoring" have been around like this for some time. The greeting card attack is simply a more clever twist to these repackaged trojans.

    Some function by opening a default port on the system and by using a hard-coded or default, easy to guess or easy to brute force password.

    It is not difficult for someone with technical skill and a simple port scanning tool to easily penetrate machines with such monitoring software installed.



    regards,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Freebee sites like those pushing online greeting cards and even Photo-albums often are a haven for driveby installs of Gator and other parasites as the webmasters suck up a few lead fees.

    _______________________
    From artical by Bob Sullivan MSNBC
    "IF YOU GET AN e-card, you might want to think twice before opening it. Twice recently, enterprising marketing firms have attempted to place pop-up advertisements on e-mail recipients’ computers by disguising their software as an electronic greeting card. And now, a third firm is making that tactic available to the general public — offering a computer spy software package that can be slipped onto an unwitting victim’s machine simply by sending them a greeting card.
    Once installed, according to the “EMail PI” Web site, the software copies every e-mail, every instant message, in fact, every character typed by a subject, and sends them back to the spy.
    “The mother of all spy programs,” the site claims, offering Brian’s e-card as a typical example. “The only software that lets you monitor your spouse simply by sending an e-card.”
    That claim got the attention of Grey McKenzie, founder of SpyCop, software that’s designed to alert Net users if spy software has been installed on their systems.
    “If people can think of a way to get on someone’s computer, they will do it,” McKenzie said. “They are using greeting cards because people are unaware that this stuff can be installed via a greeting card. It opens up a whole new ball of wax. ... It’s an instant nightmare.”


    WebMaster Mike

    [This message was edited by EcomCity.com on November 01, 2002 at 03:13 PM.]

  4. #4
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    Mike,

    You still don't get it. There is a fundamental difference between spyware through greeting cards and adware through greeting cards.

    The privacy threat level that each engages in is COMPLETELY different.

    Spyware is dangerous as it can truly spill out credit card numbers, passwords, private communications, and in some cases, open up ports vulnerable to attack.

    Do some more research Mike.

    -wayne

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Yes I hear you loud and clear Wayne. Driveby hidden downloads of Gator are acceptable business practices since it is only Adwarez. Funny that 2 spyare packages also get installed with Gator as a bonus. You do the research ..I'll just yell bloody murder to my shoppers about why they need more than just Ad-Aware to rid their boxes from both preditor types.

    WebMaster Mike

    [This message was edited by EcomCity.com on November 01, 2002 at 03:04 PM.]

  6. #6
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    What we really need is some legislation that applies existing laws to the internet that pertain to theft, "breaking and entering" and other already defined criminal activities. And we need harsh penalties to make an example of these scum. We simply need more defined laws about privacy, security etc. The problems that this anarchy causes are ranging from the dangerous stuff that spyware and parasiteware does, to the annoyance of mailing lists and junkmail. It's a shame that these people prey on us like this. It should be a NICE thing to receive a greeting card from someone..but even without spyware issues...most of the online greeting card companies now add the recipient to their mailing lists...then they sell those mailing lists. So when a friend sends me a loving or caring thought through a greeting card, they unwittingly complicate my life by putting me on several mailing lists.

    I know the legislation will eventually happen but this may all get worse before it gets better. It's good to see that the media is slowly starting to get on the bandwagon that we've been on for some time now...and publishing stories revealing all this stuff.

    Bruce

    DBS Design Group
    Los Angeles, CA

  7. #7
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    Wayne,

    Yes, there is a technical difference between spyware and adware. But from my vantage point, my computer is my personal property. And I don't want anything being put on it f'ing it up that I haven't given expressed permission to install on it. I don't care if it is monitoring which sites I visit, delivering advertising, or looking at the IM's and emails I send. And as far as damaging, adware that crashes out a computer can be just a damaging as any spyware. Especially when someone is using their computer for their livelihood. Happened to my sister. And her computer has never been the same. When I told her to get Adaware and she ran it the first time, she found well over 100 different components on her computer all of the adware, none of them that she had ever intentionally downloaded and installed. Her registry was so screwed, she finally had to reformat her hard drive, but she still hasn't been able to get it back right. And gator continues to keep cropping up again when she runs Adaware.

    So now there is yet another thing on the Net that was kind of nice and fun that we have to be suspicous of. All of because of a few greedy you know whats who are bringing the online experience down into the gutter.

    <---------end of rant ------>

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  8. #8
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    The exact same thing happened to my sister too.

    DBS Design Group
    Los Angeles, CA
    http://www.dbstevens.com

  9. #9
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    Fine BLFH,

    But I prefer to refer to that as malware (malicious software).

    Spyware is in a class by itself and it is the MOST dangerous threat on the privacy scale. I don't like to see it watered down by misnomers.

    I personally hate spyware and by that I mean real "spyware".

    -Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  10. #10
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Wayne please put me right here, I just don't follow your line line of thinking maybe I am reading it wrong.

    You think it is not ok when someone installs spyware on your computer unknown to you that lets people know where you buy stuff from and what sites you visit etc., yet you think it is ok when they install another device can effectively steal the commission from the site you chose to buy from [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]

    Please tell me why this is so I can try to understand.

    Travel safe
    Gordon
    YouTrek

  11. #11
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    Gordon,


    quote:

    You think it is not ok when someone installs spyware on your computer unknown to you that lets people know where you buy stuff from and what sites you visit etc., yet you think it is ok when they install another device can effectively steal the commission from the site you chose to buy from


    I never said either.

    I think its wrong to install spyware on anyone's PC. Spyware meaning spy software that actually spies on users keystrokes, credit card numbers, etc. Many current so-called child or spouse monitoring programs are actually re-packaged trojan horses.

    I also think installing *any* software on a user's PC without their permission- meaning a "drive by download" is also a serious privacy violation.

    Most so called "parasiteware" is not really spyware, and at worst- malware. This is a dangerous misconception propogated by the media and the uninformed. Spyware and adware are fundamentally different.



    best,
    Wayne

  12. #12
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    Thank you Wayne now I understand.

    Travel safe
    Gordon
    YouTrek

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