Sunday, July 31, 2005

Spyware testing

To test for Spyware, we have used "SpyBot", available here as a free download:

http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

Install SpyBot, but do NOT turn on SpyBot protection for the PC. Go without to test the effectiveness of just least privilege. (And of course, I did not install anti-virus software on the test drive.)

SpyBot considers some cookies to be spyware. Cookies may be spyware by some definitions, but cookies are not the most malicious spyware. Also, whether you accept cookies is determined by your browser settings, not by whether you are running under a "Limited" account on an NTFS install.

You can wipe all cookies with the click of a single button -- almost. There are several ways to get to the button. The easiest way to explain is go into IE, click on Tools, Internet Options. A dialog will appear. Half way down toward the left is a button "Delete cookies". The button does what it says.

I ran SpyBot before and after clicking the button. After showed less "spyware" by about 75% or so.

This would be a step to cut down the noise in tests for the more malicious spyware. So before running SpyBot, I recommend deleting all cookies.

An alternative is to adjust the "Advanced" SpyBot settings to ignore cookies. PC World put out instructions here:

http://www.pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,116990,00.asp

To test for Spyware, I used the list of spyware/malware sites available here:

http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.txt

I selected some of the sites listed as spyware, when to several, and pressed all the wrong buttons. Afterwards, a spyware scan showed no new spyware, other than cookies and what was originally there in the baseline scan.

DO NOT TRY THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE READ ALL THE POSTS ON THIS BLOG.

The purpose of the hosts.txt file (link above) is to block access to all the sites listed -- suposedly, they are all known malware/spyware sites. Some have comments indicating the exact malware/spyware that one can contract from the site.

11 Comments:

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous addaware said...

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though its not a perfect match. Great Post, thanks
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At 1:49 AM, Anonymous addaware said...

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glad I found your site even though its not an exact
match. I’ll leave you with a good quote from Walter F.
Mondale - "What do we want our kids to do? Sweep up
around Japanese computers? " -- Walter F. Mondale
Excellent Post, thank you for the read.

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous spybot said...

netvig or, today I was looking for a nice blog
experience on spybot search and destroy and I found your website.
Spyware testing wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but it
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even though its not an exact fit. Let me contribute
to your website by leaving you with one of my favorite
quote from Thomas Jefferson: "To err is human - and to
blame it on a computer is even more so. - Robert Orben
Informative Post, thanks for the read and nice
experience.

 
At 12:18 AM, Anonymous addaware said...

Hello there netvig or, I’m out surfing for a good blog
experience on spybot search and destroy and found your great site.
Although Spyware testing wasn’t exactly what I’m looking for
it certainly got my attention and interest. I see now
why I found your excellent blog-site when I was
searching for spybot search and destroy related web sites and I’m
glad I found your site even though its not an exact
match. I’ll leave you with a good quote from Walter F.
Mondale - "What do we want our kids to do? Sweep up
around Japanese computers? " -- Walter F. Mondale
Excellent Post, thank you for the read.

 
At 10:50 AM, Anonymous adaware said...

Hi netvig or, I’m out searching the web for the latest
and greatest information on addaware se and found your
great site. Although Spyware testing wasn’t specifically
what I was looking for it definitely got my interest
and attention. I see now why I found your interesting
blog when I was looking for addaware se related
information and I’m grateful I found your site even
though its not a perfect match. Great Post, thanks
for your informative site, Here’s my favorite quote
for you - "The real danger is not that computers
will begin to think like men, but that men will begin
to think like computers. " - Sydney J. Harris

 
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