Spyware is software that aims to gather information about a person or organization, sometimes without their knowledge, that may send such information to another entity without the consumer's consent, that asserts control over a device without the consumer's knowledge, or it may send such information to another entity with the consumer's consent, through cookies .(1)
Some of the worst domains out there, and less know is sites as:
- Google (Adware, Spyware, Trackers, Trackware)
- Microsoft (Adware, Spyware, Trackers, Trackware, DataLeakage)
- YouTube (Adware, Spyware, Trackers, Trackware)
- GoogleSafeBrowsing (Adware, Spyware, Trackers, Trackware)
- Amazon (Adware, Spyware, Trackers, Trackware)
NOTE: If any of these companies had been men, any woman could have them charged and convicted for stalking and rape!!!
Some forms of spyware also qualify as scareware because they change the user's desktop background, install icons in the computer's notification area (under Microsoft Windows), and claiming that some kind of spyware has infected the user's computer and that the scareware application will help to remove the infection. In some cases, scareware trojans have replaced the desktop of the victim with large, yellow text reading "Warning! You have spyware!" or a box containing similar text, and have even forced the screensaver to change to "bugs" crawling across the screen. Winwebsec is the term usually used to address the malware that attacks the users of Windows operating system and produces fake claims similar to that of genuine anti-malware software.
!SpySheriff exemplifies spyware and scareware: it purports to remove spyware, but is actually a piece of spyware itself, often accompanying !SmitFraud infections. Other antispyware scareware may be promoted using a phishing scam.
(1) FTC Report (2005).