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Malware & Harmful Technologies

Malware is malicious software designed to do harm to a user's system or to other systems that is not specifically a VIRUS.

Types of malware include...

Data miner

The application is designed to collect information about the user and does so actively. This may or may not include transmission of the information to a remote server, but the server is owned by the company producing the detected application and more importantly, the information collected is disclosed to the user via privacy policy and/or licensing.

Monitoring Tool

This category includes remote access Trojans (RATs), Root Kits, etc.


The application employs the use of system and/or security vulnerabilities to install on a system and to operate.


This category is for use with applications that do not fall within the other categories but are noteworthy for the user due to matching criteria listed in the TAC. The criteria however do not point in the direction of a specific detection category.


The application is designed to change the user's DUN (Dial Up Networking) settings to dial numbers that the user does not know about, to connect to a number in stealth, and/or to avoid being detected by the user such as dialling expensive connections where the user has not authorized the connection.


This is a self-replicating virus, Trojan, and/or virus designed to propagate across many systems and/or networks. While Ad-Aware does include some well know virus, Trojan, and worm content, it is not an antivirus or antitrojan solution so it is important to make sure that you have a specific solution installed on your system and/or network.


This is a listing of the Most Recently Used lists stored in your registry. They are harmless and consist only of things such as the most recent document you opened. We highlight the fact that they are harmless where some antispyware applications will list them as being potentially harmful in an attempt to appear to detect more content than they actually do.


These applications collect information, may or may not install in stealth, and are designed to transmit that information to 2nd, or 3rd parties covertly employing the user's connection without their consent and knowledge. The word defines the actual intent; this is software (ware) that is designed to collect information in secret (spy).


This is content that is designed to display advertising to the user that may not be expected or wanted. While some also categorize advertising applications that may include tracking features or capabilities as Adware, we place them within more descriptive categories such as Trackware or Data Miner to provide more information to the user. Most often included in freeware bundles or as additional (and/or required) content with shareware. Adware is generally innocuous and consumers may want to remove this content if they no longer wish to receive the advertising content. They may wish to keep them though if the programs are required for the use of a host application.


This category is separate from Data Miners in that it is passive in nature. This category can and does include content such as tracking cookies and those that collect only anonymous information like GUID's and/or sites visited, etc and does not include personally identifiable information.


The application employs the use of a software or system exploit to install and/or operate.


This category is for applications that are designed to record and/or transmit keystroke information.


This is a special type of Adware that causes an excessive number of popup's/popunders, is designed to force advertising even when not connected to the internet, can cause noticeable system and/or bandwidth slowdowns, and in general is intrusive to the point of frustrating the system user.


These applications are designed to hijack the user's home page, HOSTS file, browser favourites, chosen search engine, and/or system settings.


A virus is a self replicating program designed to inject itself into other programs and causes harm to the system it is installed on. This can include damaging files, folders, directory structures, and even erasure of the complete hard drive. It is important to make sure that you have an antivirus specific solution installed on your system and/or network

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