Adware refers to programs that display advertising using any means: pop-ups, banners, changes to the browser home page or search page, etc. The advertisements could be associated with the products or services offered by the creator of the program or by third-parties.
Adware can be installed in a number of ways, on some occasions without users' consent, and either with or without users' knowledge of its function.
StartPage.AQK prevents access from programs to websites of several companies related with security tools (antivirus programs, firewalls, etc.).
StartPage.AQK 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.
StartPage.AQK redirects attempts to access several web pages to a specific IP address.
StartPage.AQK uses the following propagation or distribution methods:
- Exploiting vulnerabilities with the intervention of the user: exploiting vulnerabilities in file formats or applications. To exploit them successfully it needs the intervention of the user: opening files, viewing malicious web pages, reading emails, etc.
- File infection: it infects different types of files, which are then distributed through any of the usual means: floppy disks, email messages with attachments, Internet download, files transferred via FTP, IRC channels, P2P file sharing networks, etc.