Lavasoft News - October 2006

Many of you have perhaps learned a second or third language. It is not easy is it? However, if you stick with it, the aggravation of struggling with your words one day pays off when the light switch turns on and you just get it. For those of you new to the world of spyware, all the technical terminology may seem foreign to you, but here at Lavasoft News, our goal is to skip that initial aggravation and just keep it simple. This issue is a lesson in spyware education. Find out about how spyware trends are heading in a scary direction. Cyber crime is becoming more organized and more devious. The authorities have caught up with some of these online creeps, but it is also up to you to protect yourself. Stay educated. Stay with us at Lavasoft.

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News from Lavasoft

Scary Spyware Trends
Gone are the days when annoying pop-up ads and hijacked homepages were the only adware/spyware you had to worry about on your PC. The new generation of cyber crime is shrewd.

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FTC Closes the Book on Spyware Op
A two-million dollar spyware settlement, reached by the Federal Trade Commission, is said to have affected 18 million consumers.

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Jail Time for Worm Creators
Two Moroccan men have been sentenced to jail for unleashing last year’s highly publicized Zotob computer worm.

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Privacy Issues Surround Emerging Google Software
We're used to the catch phrase, “Big Brother is watching you.” Could the future be, “Google is listening?”

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Industry Questions Consumer Reports' Testing Practices
Independent product review and rating publication, Consumer Reports, is under fire for practices used in its recent tests of anti-spyware software.

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Lavasoft Questions PC World's "Spyware Fighters"
In an open letter to PC World, Lavasoft wonders why testers chose to lump paid-for anti-spyware and freeware together in the same review.

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AOL Members Sue Over Search Data Release IDG
In the September edition of Lavasoft News we told you about America Online's latest problems with Internet ethics issues. They are in hot water again, now facing a class-action lawsuit. Computer World features the full story from IDG News Service.

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Spyware Newsbits

New Targets in Detection [September 2006]
Protect your privacy with a complete list of new targets for September 2006.

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Stats
Spyware infections prompted almost one million U.S. households to replace their computers in the first half of 2006.
-Consumer Reports, State of the Net 2006

The total loss from all cases of fraud referred to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2005 was $183.12 million, with an average loss of $424 per complaint. This is up from $68 million in total losses a year earlier.
-FBI IC3

This month's issue of Lavasoft News is being read by... drum roll please... 872,054 people.
Worm Graphic
Term of the Month
WORM - Did you know that WORM is an acronym for "write once, read many"? A computer worm is a self-replicating computer program, similar to a computer virus. Unlike viruses, however, worms self-propagate and so do not require other programs or documents to spread. Worms typically spread through e-mail or other file transmission capabilities found on networked computers.
 
Real Testimonial
Thanks for removing "VirusBurst" on my PC. I tried several ways to get rid of that low-down nag. Spybot had detected it, but wasn't able to kill it. HijackThis removed it - and it was still there. The next day there was an update for Ad-Aware. After this it was that easy!! No spyware, no virus. Good work. I appreciate your reliability.
R. Busch, Berlin, Germany, 25/09/06
 
Adware Trends
A new report by an online security vendor shows that in August 2006, there were roughly 450 "adware families", with more than 4,000 variants.
    Industry experts say that as the amount of new viruses and worms drop off, criminal malware is given room to rise. Spyware, Trojans and phishing are the cyber-crime of choice in 2006.
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