Adware turns lethal – rogue adware applications rigged with spyware components shifting focus to data harvesting

Adware turns lethal – rogue adware applications rigged with spyware components / shifting focus to data harvesting ….. 
THIS goes back to day one and a lot of veteran Users from the Windows XP days will tell you all about it. Adware was one of the first type of spyware category threats before spyware itself began to explode early on in this past decade of computing, 2000-2010. Users at the beginning were about just using antivirus and many have not even heard about firewalls yet and neither was antispyware around at all – except for the beginning products just starting to hit like Spybot Search And Destroy (Spybot S&D) which today has never past a poor rating, other internationally famous Lavasoft Ad Aware and Webroot Spysweeper, others like CounterSpy (Now Vipre).
Adware was, and still was, considered the least of all spyware category threats that was/is intrusive and annoying to browsing plus with all the continual intermittent pop ups via infection and would leak user browser information, histories, etc. for targeted ads. Spam (UCE Unsolicited Commercial Email) might be the second wave of attack.  Some pop up ads were leading to malicious websites to infect with spyware and possibly viruses and/or worms. This happened down the line and occurred infamously at like MySpace and others – Google and Yahoo – infected ads, which if you will could be like embedded adware but normally quite safe.. BUT spyware components in adware infection has not been anything but something very unique and a bluemoon if ever concocted.
HERE we are…..
Malicious adware shifting focus to data harvesting — BitDefender study
GMA News
BitDefender noted rogue adware applications rigged with spyware components collect various data about users, their systems and online habits under the protective umbrella of a EULA (end user license agreement) or privacy policies agreed upon by users…..
Ad Muncher – The effective ad blocker
For Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome

EULAlyzer 1.1 [wrkx w/ Netbooks] EULAlyzer can analyze license agreements in seconds, and provide a detailed listing of potentially interesting words and phrases. Discover if the software you’re about to install displays pop-up ads, transmits personally identifiable information, uses unique identifiers to track you, or much much more.  

Download Ad Muncher [50% DISCOUNT] 4.93 Build 33707 Free …
Jul 13, 2012 · Download Ad Muncher [50% DISCOUNT] – Powerful advert and popup blocking system for all browsers
Ad Eater for Your Comp?
Blocks adverts in all browsers.
Blocks unwanted popups in all browsers.
Blocks adverts in programs like ICQ, Morpheus, Kazaa, Grokster, Opera, PalTalk, iMesh, Bearshare, LimeWire, etc.
Speeds up page loading, thanks to the missing adverts and popups.
Blocks many annoying site behaviors.
Filters quickly and reliably, thanks to six years of constant development and feedback from users.
Includes extensive options for those who like to tinker, allowing you to remove anything that annoys you.
What do you think about the Internet ads? How do you like them? Abounding, scarce, somewhere in between? How about none at all and without compromising the aspect of the webpage? Impossible? No, it is not impossible; you just haven’t found the proper software to dismiss them.
Ad Muncher is a software specially designed to take big gulps of popups and all sort of advertising that prevent your browser from opening a webpage faster. Its “father” is Murray Hurps and he put a price on his “son’s” head: $24.95.
The interface is actually the configuration window. When I first ran the program and opened the configurations I felt overwhelmed by the abundance of settings. The first tab is the Logs menu that displays what else if not the logs from the web pages you have visited. The user can see the logs for the Link target URLs, Image source URLs, Popup opening and blocked popup URLs, script texts, table texts, etc.
Based on the log entry, you can create a new filter (when Add filter button is visible). The “Go to” option, when visible, will guide the user to where the respective filter or option can be modified. The If enabled, the Freeze checkbox will stop the software from updating the logs.
The software will not remove whatever it thinks by itself, and its filters can be configured by the user in My filters tab. The available filter categories are displayed if you enter a keyword, URL or text and then click in the filter category menu: remove links to URL, remove images/etc with URL, block retrieval for URL, remove all popups from URL, remove images with “alt” text, remove scripts with text, remove tables with text, remove divs/spans with text, remove forms with text, allow popups with URL, minimal filtering on URL, no filtering on URL, don’t match against keyword, add javascript to all pages, add CSS to all pages.
If you are not familiar with all the above mentioned information, the Help menu of the software will come extremely handy in configuring all those filters.
The Default Filters tab includes a fantastic number of 3026 filters that are maintained and retrieved from Ad Muncher developers. These filters will help you against the unwanted attack of the most common ads on the web. From this tab, the user can send reports to Ad Muncherdevelopers to inform them about sites with adverts or a damaged site.
In the Tools tab, the user will deal with three submenus: Replace Text (to replace the content downloaded by the web browser or other software), IP Scramble (applies a higher level of privacy while you are browsing the Internet) and Load/Save/Reset Configuration (My filters, Replace text filters and All other configuration options).
The IP Scramble option is worth detailing a little. When enabled, this option will prevent the web administrators from seeing your real Internet address and they will not be able to see your browsing habits as your requests will be sent through a number of different proxies. When enabling the IP Scrambler you should take into consideration that your browsing speed will decrease significantly (the page request will take more steps before the page is loaded).
The Options tab is the richest of them all. There are nine submenus that allow the user to “play” with the settings for filtering, popups, updates, interface, browser extensions, caching, filter targets, routing and in the Advanced submenu.
In the Filtering section, the user can set the site behavior, ads treatment, browser behavior, and adult content. There would be a lot to say about each option in here, but suffice to say that you can set the Muncher to remove the music and sounds, prevent sites bookmarking or reloading themselves, and prevent “web bugs” from tracking page visits, etc. (all these under Site Behavior); leave small, text-only adverts alone, blocking the retrieval of 468 by 60 pixels images (Advert Treatment).
In Popups, most of the options are “un-commentable” as their names say it all: prevent popups from appearing (when site is loaded/closed), prevent automatic “javascript alert” text popups.
The Browser Extensions can be added to the most common/popular web browsers and allow you to report or remove the ads by right-clicking them and to exclude certain pages from filtering. The Filter Target list will allow you to select the softwares and connection types affected by Ad Muncher. Also, if you have problems filtering a certain software, look in here first.
I haven’t gone through all the submenus and options of the software because most of them are easy to understand and easy to configure.
The Good
The software is extremely small and extremely efficient. It even “licks” the webpages clean so you will not run into blank spaces and there will be no trace of adverts.
The Bad
No comments here except for the price. It could have been a little lower.
The Truth
The software really does a great job and if you are a beginner and do not know how to use it, do not be disappointed as the Help menu will explain every aspect of the software.
Small, easy to use and runs on low memory usage and ferociously devours only the ads you are feeding. The software works extremely fine and it is indeed an ad muncher. I just hope it won’t get too fat (on the price that is).
Here are some snapshots of the application in action:
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