Home > Articles > Security > Network Security

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

The Spyware Scenario

A couple of years ago, an Internet company called KaZaA released a downloadable application called Media Desktop. One of the functions of Media Desktop was the ability to play an online lottery game. At the end of December 2001, a spyware-Trojan was discovered in their downloadable application and was dubbed a Trojan by some anti-virus packages.

By no means was that the original intent.

The KaZaA Media Desktop application had an adware component that displayed advertisements and offers to those playing the game. The adware component reported its use back to the software company for tracking purposes for its advertisers. But the way it was implemented and dropped to users' systems made anti-virus vendors consider it a spyware-Trojan because—unknown to its users—it reported back to the company their personal information and could compromise the integrity of their network. The spyware-Trojan didn't do any damage to the user's system and wasn't deliberately produced to create a backdoor to a user's network. But that was its unexpected consequence.

When the problem was discovered, KaZaA quickly informed the industry and its users and provided a quick downloadable patch to correct the problem, stating that KaZaA took its users' privacy seriously and had strict guidelines in place for the software they bundled. Suffice to say, it was an embarrassment to the company.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account