lets try and clear the confusion

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
During my time bouncing around some of these security newsgroups I read so
many comments about how my virus scanner didn't find this or SpyBot didn't
catch that so lets see if we can help the confused by using definitions that
hopefully will help them to help themselves, and understand the subject
material a little better.

A virus is any of software malicious, amusing or benign that can reproduce
itself and attach to other files thus causing an infection, and helping to
bind the name virus with real life micro organisms that cause other animals
to become infectious.

A Trojan is a gift that contains a malicious hidden intent, its name derived
from the Trojan Horse and the problems associated with Helen of Troy, where
the free gift concealed an army to take over the oppositions stronghold. Now
a Trojan may deliver a virus as its hidden content, but that does mean the
Trojan is a virus as it cannot replicate itself and infect other files or
systems, in effect it can only ever be a catalyst for a virus, or any other
form of Malware.

Spy-Ware is exactly what it says it is - software that spies on your
activities whether that be what web sites you visit through to what letters
you type in at the keyboard, what adverts if any you actually ever respond
to, snooping the system for usernames, email addresses contact lists and
other such details as banking are all under the guise of Spy-Ware. Again
they are not generally a virus, as they don't replicate nor infect, however
it would be very possible to create a virus that could both spy and relay
data and replicate.

Ad-ware again is precisely what it says, a routine delivered to your
computer either by a Trojan or by whatever means, but they do nothing more
than generate ads for your pleasure all day every day until you hoof them
out. Some are nice and friendly and allow you to remove them via add/remove
programs, others are very surreptitious and require more effort to leverage
them out. Again Ad-Ware is not a virus, it cant replicate nor infect other
files, although again it is possible to develop a virus to deliver the same
task, but then the infection would be a virus and not Ad-Ware by definition.

To conclude

Use an anti virus tool to trap a viral infection and attempt a cure
Use an anti Ad-Ware product to remove the advert generators on your system
... if any
Use an anti Spy-Ware tool to remove the tools that spy on your system
Use an anti Trojan scanner to detect and remove Trojans

Do not presume that your anti virus product can remove all Trojans, don't
think it will remove spy ware nor Ad-Ware, use the tools for the job at

Re: lets try and clear the confusion

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Probably the worst choice of name ever... now everybody blames the poor
Trojans, even though they were the victims :-)

Technically, the malware should be called "Greek Horse"

Juergen Nieveler
Said the fly, "Let us flee." Said the flea: "Let us fly."

Re: lets try and clear the confusion

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Timeo Danaos ac dona ferentes.


PS  And, yes, I know this fragment of Virgil is more often quoted with et
than ac - and don't get me started on ferentes/ferentis :-)

Site Timeline