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Panda Protection

Virus Encyclopedia

Welcome to the Virus Encyclopedia of Panda Security.

FriendMsvrl

Threat LevelModerate threatDamageHighDistributionNot widespread
Common name:FriendMsvrl
Technical name:Spyware/FriendMsvrl
Threat level:Low
Alias:friends.fr, FriendXms
Type:Spyware
Effects:  

It gathers information about users' Internet habits and sends it out. It can be installed with users' consent, but sometimes it is installed without their consent.

Affected platforms:

Windows 2003/XP/2000/NT/ME/98/95

First detected on:Dec. 1, 2004
Detection updated on:Jan. 18, 2007
StatisticsNo

Brief Description 

    

FriendMsvrl is a spyware program, which are computer applications that collect information about users browsing activity, preferences and interests. The data collected is sent to the creator of the application or third-parties, either directly or after being stored on the computer.

Spyware can be installed with the user consent and awareness, but sometimes it is not. The same happens with the knowledge or lack of knowledge regarding data collected and the way it is used.

Additionally, FriendMsvrl registers itself as LSP (Layered Service Provider), in order to harvest users' information about their connection, such as Internet usage, pages viewed, phone connection details, inventory of the applications installed in the computer, etc.

 

Note:

LSP (Layered Service Provider) is a Windows feature that allows to specify a number of programs, in order to process all the TCP/IP traffic taking place between Internet and the applications that are accessing Internet (such as the web browser, the email client, etc.).

For example, it could be specified a computer security program, which analyses the traffic in search for viruses or other threats before transferring it to the final application of the traffic.

However, this structure can also be used by adware and spyware programs, in order to intercept the communication across the Internet, and, what is worse, if they are deleted without taking precautions, the Internet connection will stop working indefinitely.

Visible Symptoms 

    

FriendMsvrl is difficult to recognize, as it does not display any messages or warnings that indicate it has reached the computer.