U of C prof warns Internet cafe users of 'Typhoid adware'
Once loaded, program barrages users with pop-up ads, cautions associate professor John Aycock
AFP May 21, 2010 1:03 PM
SAN FRANCISCO - Canadian university researchers on Friday warned of a new strain of advertising software that can sneak onto laptop computers linked to wireless networks at Internet cafes.
University of Calgary computer science researchers have branded the potentially infectious ad software "Typhoid adware" for its ability to spread in public through unsuspecting laptop users.
"We're looking at a different variant of adware which we haven't seen out there yet but we believe could be a threat soon," said associate professor John Aycock, who co-authored a Typhoid research paper.
Adware is software typically sneaked onto people's computers when they download booby-trapped files such as screen savers or browser tool bars.
Once on machines, the programs barrage users with pop-up advertisements.
"Typhoid adware is designed for public places where people bring their laptops," says Aycock. "It's far more covert, displaying advertisements on computers that don't have the adware installed, not the ones that do."
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