IT marshals an array of countermeasures to protect corporate reputations and against new threats to the datacentre
Stories by Michelle Delio
Snoopy software, private data snatched off networks and sent to a server somewhere in Siberia or San Francisco ... all these unfortunate occurrences can be attributed to spyware, a generic term for software that regularly collects demographic and usage information from a computer and transmits it to a marketing company or other interested parties without the user's explicit permission.
Spyware is far more intrusive than spam and can cause more real problems than many computer viruses. The more benign versions -- sometimes called adware -- confine themselves to downloading and displaying "targeted" ads and may only be resource hogs. But many spyware applications go farther. They auto-update themselves, alter system configurations, download and install additional software, and access and disclose data stored on computers they infect -- or on any shared network resources that the affected computer can access.