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This is an Attack. To view all attacks, please see the Attack Category page.

Last revision (mm/dd/yy): 05/26/2009


Spyware is a program that captures statistical information from a user's computer and sends it over internet without user acceptance. This information is usually obtained from cookies and the web browser’s history. Spyware can also install other software, display advertisements, or redirect the web browser activity. Spyware differs from a virus, worm, and adware in various ways. Spyware does not self-replicate and distribute itself like viruses and worms, and does not necessarily display advertisements like adware. The common characteristics between spyware and viruses, worms, and adware are:

  1. exploitation of the infected computer for commercial purposes
  2. the display, in some cases, of advertisements

Risk Factors


Some Spyware is very dificult to remove because it can hide in Browser Cookies and Offline HTML Content in Temporary files.



Figure 1. A lot of toolbars added by spyware, and some working as spyware

Related Threat Agents

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Related Controls

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