Exploring Spyware Effects

Document type: Conference Papers
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text:
Author(s): Martin Boldt, Bengt Carlsson, Andreas Jacobsson
Title: Exploring Spyware Effects
Conference name: Nordsec 2004
Year: 2004
City: Helsinki
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Engineering - Dept. of Systems and Software Engineering (Sektionen för teknik – avd. för programvarusystem)
School of Engineering S- 372 25 Ronneby
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail: mbo@bth.se, bca@bth.se, aja@bth.se
Language: English
Abstract: In this paper, we discuss various types of spyware
programs, their behaviour, how they typically infect computers,
and the propagation of new varieties of spyware programs.
In two experiments, we investigate the occurrence and
impact of spyware programs found in popular P2P applications.
Based on the findings from the empirical investigations,
we try to lift the perspective to a more general view on spyware
deriving from the theory of (virtual) network effects. In
a model, we categorize in what ways spyware might decrease
the utility of belonging to a large virtual network. Here, the
baseline is that spyware programs intrude systems and networks,
but since they profit from user data they also intrude
user privacy. In the model, the intrusions are classified as
moderate, severe or disastrous. We found that spyware has
the potential to overthrow the positive aspects of belonging to
a large network, and network owners should therefore be
very careful about permitting such programs in applications
and on networks.
Subject: Computer Science\Electronic security
Keywords: Malware, network effects, P2P, spyware.