Precisely why people should avoid downloading or using many of the fun/happy/toolbar kinds of applications, unless from a source known to be reputable (Google, Yahoo, toolbars, for example, are safe).
I note that the FTC indicated that approximately 18 MILLION
computers had been infected by malicious software from this ONE
operation. From the same article that gives this enormous---and frightening----figure:
Bostom.com quoting AP
"PC manufacturers say that 50 percent or more of their support calls are spyware-related," said Joe Wilcox, an analyst with Jupiter Research.
Webroot researchers last month reported that 89 percent of consumer PCs were infected with an average of 30 pieces of spyware. The Boulder, Colo.-based company has identified more than 527,000 malicious Web sites, an increase of 100,000 compared with the first quarter.
Many consumers still don't use anti-spyware programs or do not keep them updated, and others do not realize they're downloading malicious software when they sign up at various sites to send greeting cards or install a new search toolbar, Wilcox said.
Edited by jgweed, 11 September 2006 - 09:27 AM.