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Panda Protection

Virus Encyclopedia

Welcome to the Virus Encyclopedia of Panda Security.

Startsurfing

Threat LevelHigh threatDamageSevereDistributionNot widespread
Common name:Startsurfing
Technical name:Spyware/Startsurfing
Threat level:Medium
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. It captures certain information entered or saved by the user, with the corresponding threat to privacy. It causes the loss of information stored on the computer, either specific files or data in general. It affects the productivity of the computer, the network to which it’s connected or other remote sites. It carries out actions that decrease the security level of the computer. It does not spread automatically using its own means.
Affected platforms:

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

First detected on:Aug. 31, 2005
Detection updated on:Aug. 31, 2005
StatisticsNo
Proactive protection:
Yes, using TruPrevent Technologies

Brief Description 

    

Spyware programs are applications that gather information about users' Internet habits and movements. The data, when collected, is sent to the creators themselves or to third parties, either directly or after being stored on computer.

Spyware is installed on systems in numerous ways, including: Trojans installed without users' consent; web pages with certain ActiveX controls or code that exploit vulnerabilities; applications with shareware or freeware type licenses downloaded from the Internet, etc.

Spyware can be installed either with or without users' consent, and either with or without their knowledge about the data gathered and/or the use of it.

 

Startsurfing prevents access from programs to websites of several companies related with security tools (antivirus programs, firewalls, etc.).

Startsurfing redirects attempts to access web pages of certain banks to spoofed pages, with the aim of logging information entered by the user in these pages.

Startsurfing redirects attempts to access several web pages to a specific IP address.

 

Startsurfing does not spread automatically using its own means. It needs an attacking user's intervention in order to reach the affected computer. The means of transmission used include, among others, floppy disks, CD-ROMs, email messages with attached files, Internet downloads, FTP, IRC channels, peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing networks, etc.