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Former featured article Spyware is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on November 12, 2006.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 12, 2005 Peer review Reviewed
August 22, 2005 Featured article candidate Promoted
December 25, 2006 Featured article review Demoted
Current status: Former featured article
This article has been mentioned by a media organization:
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Spyware:

To-do list

  • Add fair use rationales to all of the fair use images used in this article
  • Review User consent & legality section, citing any recent cases we can find involving spyware distributors
  • Review related categories Category:Spyware and Category:Spyware removal

Recurring problems

  • Insertion of spam links
  • Insertion of unsourced claim of non-Windows spyware (this will cease to be a "problem" if non-Windows spyware is observed and documented!)
  • Alteration of lead paragraph from "Spyware is thus-and-so" to "'Spyware' is a term that means thus-and-so" -- Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary, and this article is about spyware, not about the word "spyware".
  • Recommendations and didactic content -- "People should do this" -- Wikipedia is not a how-to guide or list of recommendations

Talk Page Archived[edit]

Due to the previous length of this Talk Page, I have archived the previous contents (under Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page) to Talk:Spyware/Archive 1. Anyone who wishes to continue an old discussion, please visit the archive and copy over the discussion to here.

Kind regards,
anthonycfc [talk] 14:51 December 29 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for this, though please be careful not to archive templates, as these then start listing Spyware/Archive1 as a Version 0.5 article, etc. Cheers, Walkerma 17:39, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Apologies - should have substed them prior to archiving, then reverted self. anthonycfc [talk] 06:16, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Removals from "Fake anti-spyware programs" section[edit]

I'm puzzled by the recent removal of 15 or so red-linked product names from this list, with edit summary "long list not helpful". Although wiki has no detailed article for any of these, IMO their very presence on the list is valuable information that should not be removed. --CliffC 04:26, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Typically a list of names with no further information is not helpful for an article. Other technology articles keep list sizes reasonable by including only notable entries, which is determined by the existence of an article. If something significant is missing, create an article on it and then include the item in the list. In the long run, that whole section should be eliminated and replaced by explanatory text as described in the embedded list guideline. Otherwise the list is only useful for people who are familiar with the topic (and they don't need the list!). JonHarder talk 14:12, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I understand, but maybe this is one of those wiki rules that's made for breaking. I'm thinking of Joe Doakes getting an invitation to download (using one removed entry as an example) Malware Wipe. He does a Google for it and up comes a Wikipedia (trusted source!) link showing that puppy in Spyware or List of fake anti-spyware programs. I think that would be a public service, and A Good Thing. --CliffC 22:07, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
How about maintaining the list only in List of fake anti-spyware programs and just providing a link to it from this article? That way only one list needs to be maintained and the descriptive content can be expanded here, using a few of the notable programs with articles as examples. The list article could be expanded with additional information such as platform, date of appearance, citations, etc. Do you think there are examples that are important enough to list but not notable enough to have their own article? JonHarder talk 15:06, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
"maintaining the list only in List of fake anti-spyware programs and just providing a link to it from this article" sounds good, and I appreciate the difficulty of maintaining multiple lists. Whether there are examples important enough to list without their own article, yes, I think every one that is known is important enough to be listed; it's like walking along with a friend and saying "look out, don't step in that" – the pile that's avoided doesn't need further description, we know what it is and we don't need to know what particular breed left it. --CliffC 18:58, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
OK, it looks like we are arriving at an agreement. The list can be totally removed from this article. The list at List of fake anti-spyware programs can be expanded, hopefully not only in the number of applications listed but also with additional content about each entry. Maybe some sort of table format. If having an article is not to be a requirement to be in the list, at least a citation to some external source should be found. I'll let the editors here work out the details. JonHarder talk 23:53, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't think information like this should be removed. These programs DESTROY people's computers. People should know what is fake and what isn't. MalwareSmarts 00:00, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be useful if List of fake anti-spyware programs was modified to also include spyware applications and other forms of malware. The page could be moved to something along of the lines of a "List of Malicious Software".--DevinCook 06:33, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
A list of all notable malicious software would be way, way too long. There are tens of thousands of malware programs, when you count all the worms, viruses, spyware, trojans, rootkits. A category is what you want, I think. --FOo 02:14, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Very true. It would be long if every program is listed. It could be limited to the more "notable" offenders or, instead, the list could be a "List of Malicious Applications" to differentiate it from viruses, worms, etc... Basically, the page will include applications that users should never install: spyware, rogue-antispyware and other applications that also install malware (as DivX once did). Creating a list on Wikipedia would be a public service. --DevinCook 06:33, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
That is a very good idea, creating a list of malicious programs you should never install. It would be incredibly long to include all malware in the world, so maybe a good idea would be to focus on the most famous offenders mostly, such as the Zlob trojan, CoolWebSearch, WinFixer, etc. for the list if it is created, as well as a few lesser ones, such as ContraVirus, which I am pretty sure isn't as big as WinFixer. I'm pretty sure about that, correct me if I'm wrong. I also agree that this would be a public service, which is good. MalwareSmarts 15:21, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Identity Theft section[edit]

This section is being continually reverted to include a NY Times article mentioning the loss of money, according to John Bambenek. Bambenek is a non-notable who had his personal vanity page deleted three times from Wikipedia and is known for using sock puppets, including impersonation of contributors to Wikipedia who work/live in the same geographic area as him. Regardless of the time that the link was listed (which was just under 12 months, not the 18 that the anon reverter has stated), that does not give it credibility. Bambenek does not have enough credibility to have this link stand alone. I have removed the offending statement, and am looking for a more credible source to convey this information. --Justinm1978 05:05, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't it make more sense to leave this well-sourced information (from an in-depth NY Times article) in place until you find a "more credible" equivalent? Sounds like you're going pretty far out of the way to avoid mentioning a name that's unpopular to some folks here. I never heard of Bambenek until I saw his name show up in this article, but facts are facts, and the Times thinks he's credible enough to quote. As to whether his name should be mentioned, do we never attribute a quote to a wiki "non-notable"? Is there a rule about this for those charged with such offenses against the wiki as you mention? --CliffC 12:25, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Like the Times has never quoted someone who is completely blowing smoke up their tailpipes. I replaced the offending sentence with information from the Federal Trade Commission, and surprise, their numbers differ from Bambenek's. All things being equal, I'm fairly certain that the FTC is a better source of information that a non-notable blogger who routinely attaches himself to subjects he is far from an expert on. In checking back through the revisions, the original sentence was added by an anon source, with an IP originating from the Champaign-Urbana area, where Bambenek is from. This lends a lot less credibility to using that article, and even less when the information given conflicts greatly with the FTC. --Justinm1978 15:46, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
That FTC cite does the job perfectly, good find. I got most of the material for the Movieland spyware article from the FTC, bless them and their works. As to the Times getting smoked, WP:V says "the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth", so we're off the Truth hook whenever we say "the Times says that so-and-so said [whatever]". Wiki reports, you decide. --CliffC 15:35, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

WP:BAMBI is clear, John Bambenek is to be mentioned in no articles on Wikipedia or the individual doing so will be permanently banned. He is a censored subject.

PC Pitstop has fought long and hard against spyware and identity theft. [Here][1] we are providing a simple tool and some good basic advice for safety. There is also room for user comments. Staying ahead of web-based identity crime is not easy. After reading these comments I now have a better understanding of a particular past entry. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wouldshed (talkcontribs) 16:07, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

External link suggestion[edit]

Keyloggers: The Overlooked Threat to Computer Security —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:24, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Spyware, adware and computer security related news and happening. Spyware News —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:51, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

The "Prevention" part of the External links should include a link to: Securing Your Web Browser

Spyware is often introduced to a system through a web browser that is not securely configured. The above CERT/CC guide shows how to configure various web browsers in a secure manner. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wikiuser2010 (talkcontribs) 18:08, 5 April 2007 (UTC).

Suggestion for new external link

A simple guide to preventing and removing malware

Great Resources To Effective Anti Spyware Software —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:50, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Malware troubles is often confusing to the regular end-user. Simplicity is key to help them resolve their problems. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:31, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Here is the first thing anyone can try to eliminate malware from their computer. It uses software that already comes with Windows: How To Remove Spyware, Trojan Horse, and Virus from Your Computer Using Windows XP System Restore 23:34, 15 November 2007 (UTC)


Is there any wiki where the user can add a warning about spyware (i.e. WebMediaPlayer)?. --Mac 14:21, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

fix confusing sentence?[edit]

"Some 'rogue' anti-spyware programs even masquerade as security software."

The above line seems - to me at least - to be poorly constructed and, as a result, confusing. (Is a "'rogue' anti-spyware program" a bona fide anti-spyware program, is it, instead, a rogue program masquerading as an anti-spyware program, or possibly is it an anti-spyware program which does roots out certain spyware programs but propagates other selected ones, or yet something else?) Jabeles 20:14, 21 July 2007 (UTC)


"Softpedia no longer hosts the latest version of Flashget, because FlashGet 1.9.0, as soon as it is started, tries to call various servers around the world every 3 seconds. This is also the reason why FlashGet no longer has the Softpedia "100% Clean" award."


Now if I type winzix it redirects me to here. Where did the winzix page go? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Seems like it never existed, but it would be interesting to see WinZix mentioned on the page since WinZix redirects here. --M.A. (talk) 14:28, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
There used to be a very informative page on the subject that moderators felt should not be shared. A sad move for pedia. --EkriirkE 03:35, 2 December 2007 (UTC)


It seems this article may be biased against Microsoft Windows? I know that Spyware is majorly focused towards Windows, however lets make sure that the article remaines NPOV.Sephiroth storm (talk) 19:30, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Rather than claiming bias, it might be more worthwhile if you could find any evidence -- any at all! -- of a spyware problem on non-Windows platforms. There have been some proof-of-concept attacks, and there has been fraudulent marketing of fake anti-spyware software for Mac OS X. However, to date, spyware at large is specifically and narrowly a Windows problem.
This isn't to say that spyware is impossible on (say) Mac or Linux. It just hasn't happened yet, so anything we could say about it would be either (a) false, or (b) just plain made up. Oak trees don't get tobacco mosaic virus; cows don't get leprosy; and non-Windows systems (to date, anyway) haven't gotten the spyware plague. --FOo (talk) 04:21, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Spyware on the P.C. was mostly a combination of the popularity of the platform coupled with the design flaws of ActiveX. In its early forms, ActiveX had NO security whatsoever. The technology assumed that all installed programs would be beneficial. It was a naive assumption. Basically, when you have a platform with 90+% of the market combined with a lack of security AND an easy way to install software without user permission (or very little) - you get this problem. I wouldn't call the article bias. In fact, the article is far too forgiving. -DevinCook (talk) 06:14, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

June 15th 2008 Goomee: I am going to start a website, listing all companies who promote spyware. The intent of the website will be to allow internet users to see every company that promotes spyware. In this way, I want to send a message to these pirates, that we won't buy or use their products unless measures are taken to make it illegal or unless there is a law passed where any installer programs must say in bold lettering, and blatantly that the software contains spyware.

Featured article[edit]

I am requesting Wikipedia:Peer_review to have this article Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates and hopefully be WP:FA. Any suggestions? Igor Berger (talk) 18:06, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Oh I see we have been fetured already! How can we be fetured again? Igor Berger (talk) 18:07, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

There was a dead link in this article, and since only one sentence referred to it, I removed that sentence to solve the problem. A diff can be found here for reference. Arienh4(Talk) 16:31, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

hearing, testimony[edit]

I HATE SPYWARE!!!!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:33, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Mindless Superscript[edit]

Who added "when" in superscript next to MS's acquisition of GIANT? If they're that lazy not to Google it and add the information themselves I'm not going to add it for them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:45, 22 November 2008 (UTC)


Is "traitorware"[1] the same as "spyware"? Or should "traitorware" have a separate article? I notice "Treacherous computing" redirects to "Trusted" Computing (criticisms of). Perhaps "traitorware" could be mentioned there? - K (talk) 23:57, 27 December 2010 (UTC)


The article for MyWebSearch doesn't support its listing here as spyware (adware, possibly, though it says that's disputed). Just because a for-pay site offers to remove software from your computer doesn't automatically make the software malicious; lots of companies make their living that way. I can't find any neutral, reliable sources that claim the toolbar is spyware (and a number of reliable sources claim that it isn't) so I've removed it from the list. Kafziel Complaint Department: Please take a number 22:41, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Support. I see that you have already delisted it. Good. Fleet Command (talk) 00:15, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. There might be some others there that should be taken off, too (the WeatherStudio entry doesn't cite any sources listing it as spyware) but I'm at work and haven't had time to go through them carefully enough. Kafziel Complaint Department: Please take a number 00:29, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
In the article MyWay Searchbar are listed sources which consider it adware and/or spyware. Spybot is freeware (works for free), while Malwarebytes Antimalware and Superantispyware remove spyware and adware for free, they only require payment for realtime protection and automatic updates (the advanced features). Bitdefender is an trustworthy antivirus, so it could be considered a reliable source, since it would have little to gain and much to loose from false positives. Tgeorgescu (talk) 16:27, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't see anything reliable saying it's spyware. Some say it's adware, some lump adware and spyware together (but still say it's adware), but I don't see any sources in that article that specifically say it's spyware. You're drawing conclusions based on what you think their intentions may or may not be, but that's original research. Kafziel Complaint Department: Please take a number 17:13, 27 January 2011 (UTC)


>using space on their personal computers

Huh? Considering the size of the cookies, I think the primary concern is that people don't wish to be tracked by every website they visit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Obvious Edits Made To WebcamGate[edit]

So it is fairly obvious someone has edited a lot of the webcam gate section of this article, i dont want to change anything as i am at uni and not able to log into my account, but posting this up so people know something has been edited. Read through the sentences do not make sense due to obvious removal of specific words. (talk) 13:28, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Who&When Coined the term Spyware?[edit] and others reference a 1994/1995/1996 (depending on the source) usenet post.

"The first recorded use of the term spyware occurred on 16 October 1995 in a Usenet post that poked fun at Microsoft's business model."

Citation [27] is a dead link, is there a working source?

^ Vossen, Roland (attributed); October 21, 1995; Win 95 Source code in c!! posted to rec..programmer; retrieved from November 28, 2006. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Allne1972 (talkcontribs) 05:13, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Elf Bowling[edit]

I heard somewhere that Elf Bowling had spyware DudeWithAFeud (talk) 04:58, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Spyware. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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A scan with Hitman Pro recognizes IEHelper.DLL as IQIYI infection, that's the only infection reported for a Flashget 3 installation. However, more infections may be possible if one uses the integrated update function. I have no reliable source for this, it is my own experience. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:01, 26 March 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ See for example:]