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Spyware does not directly spread in the same way as a virus or worm because infected systems generally do not attempt to transmit or copy the software to other computers. Instead, spyware installs itself on a system through deception of the user, or through exploitation of software vulnerabilities. Most spyware is installed without users' knowledge, or by using deceptive tactics. Spyware may try deceive users by bundling itself with desirable software. Other common tactics are using a Trojan horse. Some spyware authors infect a system through security holes in the Web browser or in other software. When the user navigates to a Web page controlled by the spyware author, the page contains code which attacks the browser and forces the download and installation of spyware.


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Before internet connectivity was widespread, viruses were typically spread by infected floppy disks. Antivirus software came into use, but was updated relatively infrequently. During this time, virus checkers essentially had to check executable files and the boot sectors of floppy disks and hard disks. However, as internet usage became common, viruses began to spread online.

Over the years it has become necessary for antivirus software to check an increasing variety of files, rather than just executables, because virus programs are becoming sophiscated

Powerful macros used in word processor applications, such as Microsoft Word, presented a risk. Virus writers could use the macros to write viruses embedded within documents. This meant that computers could now also be at risk from infection by opening documents with hidden attached macros. The possibility of embedding executable objects inside otherwise non-executable file formats can make opening those files a risk. Later email programs, in particular Microsoft's Outlook Express and Outlook, were vulnerable to viruses embedded in the email body itself. A user's computer could be infected by just opening or previewing a message.

With all these developments anti-virus companies have to develop different advanced methods of detecting virus. All rights reserverd 2012

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