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Re: Spyware / Adware

Snyder, Dave (D.F.) wrote:

I just purchased Debian Linux for my home PC and waiting for the CD's to arrive this week. I'm looking forward to installing so I can eventually divorce myself from Microsoft Windows.

I've had more calls in the last few weeks from friends and relatives regarding SpyWare and Adware that was downloaded and running on their Windows PC's.

I don't understand if you would like to speak about SpyWare and Adware or virus, trojan, worm, ...

Adware and SpyWare are software that log your activity and send constant report to one site. Basically they log user activity for market surveys. With these logs they build a database to understand what people like and so sell this information to others, for example to publicity society. But some of these programs can do other things, they can read all your files, all your informations, ... and send they to someone.

So Adware and SpyWare don't delete file, don't crash your pc, don't replicate to the network; they only spy and send information to someone.

Also ms-winwods do that: it send information to microsoft. For example if you intall a firewall on a ms-windows. At the first program crash you can see a dialog box that ask you if you want to send information to microsoft so it can improve the system; you can reply yes or not, but the system try to send informatio to microsoft (if you have a firewall up you can see that some packets are blocked). Also in installation and upgrading it do something like that.

Is Linux vulnerable to these unwanted downloads and if so, how do I protect Linux so I don't have a similar issue?

Adware and SpyWare are not unwanted downloads. They are inside some programs that are free or shareware and run under ms-windows. You must download and install one of that software to download and install they.
Most of this program haves some banner on when you run they.
Note that if you uninstall a program that have an Adware and SpyWare or spyware on it you remove only the program, not Adware and SpyWare.

Basically Adware are software that look only what you do when you surf the web, what banner you click on and things like that. Spyware are programs that also stole you some information on your pc.

Under GNU/Linux I never see a program with some Adware/Spyware, all program I have see are free software, but all come with source so it is very hard to hide a SpyWare or an Adware.

So I think that GNU/Linux is free of this type of pests if you use only free software. Probably there are some non free software that run under GNU/Linux that can have on it some of these.



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*Dave Snyder
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