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.
It captures certain information entered or saved by the user, with the corresponding threat to privacy:
user's browsing habits.
It affects productivity, preventing tasks from being carried out:
- In the affected computer:
it displays pop-up windows.
It reduces the security level of the computer:
it changes the security settings of Internet Explorer, decreasing its security level.
It uses stealth techniques to avoid being detected by the user:
- It modifies system permissions in order to hide itself.
It uses several methods in order to avoid detection by antivirus companies:
- It prevents scanning tools from running, such as Windows Registry Editor, FileMonitor, etc.
Adware/Gmter 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.
- Via Internet, exploiting remote vulnerabilities: attacking random IP addresses, in which it tries to insert a copy of itself by exploiting one or more vulnerabilities.