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Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 12 Sep 2002

Current version: BorderManager 3.7

Check out this fascinating bulletin from the CIAC (Computer Incident Advisory Capability from the U.S.Department of Energy).

PROBLEM: Programs are being intentionally packaged with legitimate software to display advertising on your screen, gather information on your browsing habits, and to sell your unused CPU cycles and disk space. Current applications are relatively benign but could easily be used for an invasion of privacy or other malicious purposes.

PLATFORM: Primarily Windows platforms but could be any platform that connects to the Internet.

ABSTRACT: Recent reports from Internet marketing companies outlining their plans has brought to light the capabilities of parasite programs that are being installed along with legitimate programs. These parasite programs give the outside company the ability to watch your browsing habits, examine your files, and use your unused computer cycles and disk space. Most of these programs currently place directed advertising on your computer but have the ability to do much more. Buried in the fine print of the user agreements for those programs are legal releases that may allow the software company uncontrolled access to your computer. The stated future plans of at least one of these companies includes selling your unused disk space and computer cycles to other companies. In this bulletin we will discuss what is going on now, what could be done with the existing technology, and how to detect and get rid of it.

Read the bulletin at

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