What Is Spyware?
Spyware Short Definition:
Spyware is a type of malicious software (malware) designed to steal data from infected machines. Spyware can have keylogging capabilities, and can take screenshots and, in some cases, use your device camera. Usually, spyware is covert and may sneak into your computer system undetected.
Spyware Capabilities: Extended Definition: Shortly said, spyware sneaks into your computer to spy on your activities. In addition to spying and stealing information, this malware can send the information to its operators. Data collection is done for malicious purposes, with the following types of data being collected:
- Credit card details;
- Passwords and usernames (login credentials) for various online accounts;
- Banking and financial credentials;
- Information regarding your general online activities.
Once hackers have obtained these sensitive details, they can perform a variety of malicious operations, including account takeover, identity theft, and further malware intrusions. It should be noted that governments also use spyware for covert surveillance operations, i.e. to identify potential targets for further attacks. Advertisers also use spyware.
For more definitions, check our Cyber Dictionary.