"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

THE RISE OF SPYWARE from Instapundit

Mainstream children's Web sites host a glut of adware, a security firm said this week, proof that spyware makers are targeting kids in an attempt to slip by parents and get their software onto home computers.
Over a three-month period, said Kraig Lane, a group product manager in Symantec's consumer division, his lab took new PCs out of the box, connected them to the Internet without monkeying with any of the default settings in Windows XP SP2, then surfed well-known sites in several categories, ranging from kids and sports to news and shopping.

"Our testers went to name-brand Web sites, and spent 30 minutes to an hour reading or interacting with sites," said Lane. Testers tried to emulate real-world browser by reading articles, interacting with the site's features, but not explicitly looking to accumulate files by downloading. "Then they ran spyware detection software and counted up what kind of security risks and how many files had been installed on the machines," Lane said.

Children were the biggest target for spyware makers, by far. The trip to several kids' sites installed a whopping 359 pieces of adware on Symantec's PCs, five times more than the nearest category rival, travel. Popup ads proliferated on the machines after that, making them virtually unusable.

JB here: If you don't hate spyware, you're not paying attention. Now they're trying to sneak it onto our machines thru children's websites. The word "irritating" doesn't quite convey the anger over this. BUT, that's part of the price of "free internet info."

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