Spyware – Introduction

Even with just a few years’ history spyware has brought many controversies and concerns regarding the ways it gets in Internet users’ computers and information it collects all without users’ knowledge. This report gives an overview of spyware, trying to define it and provide some general information including technological aspects about it. Spyware is generally regarded as any technology that can ensure the download, installation, information collection and data transmission taking place misleadingly, automatically, and secretly. Knowing who is using it and what information it is looking for is important in understanding the purpose of spyware, but the legal usage of spyware by law enforcement, employers, parents, and spouse will not be discussed much. The mature Internet based technologies and numerous security exploits in systems help spyware get in users’ computer easily, and also imply the many species of spyware existing. The report goes forward to explore the technological aspects of spyware, and provide more understanding on the working mechanism inside spyware by doing a simple experiment to have a close look at it.
In the part two, it is the intention of this report to discuss the relationship between spyware and business. The profit from this business attracts not just crime makers but also many other profit-seekers from individuals to fortune 500 companies. Consequently this gives rise to a series of legal issues. Law enforcement has filed lawsuits with the companies distributing spyware illegally under the new spyware laws in United States. The report is closing with talking about the possible approaches for minimizing the threats of spyware in part three. These approaches include education, technology, legislation, and industry self-regulation.

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