Are you sure your computer is
not infected with Spyware?
Information-technology Promotion Agency
IT Security Center
1. What is a Spyware?
Spyware is “a program designed to illicitly
collect users’ important information (such as
personal data, access logs, etc), which is
installed (or embedded) without the consent of
users and administrators.”
[The above definition was introduced by the
Working Group for the Development of
Spyware Prevention Measures that was set up
jointly by Information-technology Promotion Agency (IPA) and Japan
Network Security Association (JNSA).]
Spyware currently spreading across a wide area has the following
functions: collecting information and saving it in a file, automatically
transferring such information to external users (other than legitimate
users.) W32/Antinny virus is also a Spyware that compromises
information using file-swapping software.
Another program called
over the control of a web
browser and induces users
to a malicious site or
displays unexpected search
information and performs
such malicious tasks.
However, not all programs capable of gathering information are
For example, “Key Logger”, a program that logs key-inputs for a system
operation test or automatic execution, can serve as a useful tool, as long
as users utilize it in a legitimate manner. However, if other functions such
as data transmission, backdoors, and remote access are added to this
program, it might become a Spyware.
Especially, if a Spyware
onto a computer that is
used for Net Café, the
logs might be viewed by
other users. In fact, there
has been a report of such
referred to as cybercrime.