Websense Inc. have announced the launch of a new database category that blocks spyware programs from sending potentially sensitive data back to marketer servers. The category, which is included in the Websense Premium Group III (PG III) database, helps IT managers prevent spyware from compromising corporate data security and draining valuable corporate bandwidth.
Spyware--such as Gator, BonziBUDDY and others, works by collecting Web surfing patterns, keystrokes and other information from employee computers, usually for advertising purposes. This information, once gathered, is sent via back-channel Interact connections to Web servers, where it can be used for market research or worse. In some cases, spyware secretly installs itself onto desktops without permission and performs other activities hidden to the user.
Spyware applications are often bundled as hidden components in freeware and shareware downloaded from the Internet. in addition, popular peer-to-peer programs, such as KaZaa, BearShare, AudioGalaxy and others are frequent carriers of spyware. Unfortunately, many employees are unaware spyware is included in these programs, often automatically downloading it onto their computers or agreeing to install it without reading lengthy legal agreements.
Once installed on corporate desktops, spyware applications not only compromise security by sending potentially confidential or damaging data back to unknown sources, but they also create serious bandwidth drains that can cripple overall network speeds. In one test lab, only 12...