One of my friends called me in a panic the other day. It seems his 8-year-old daughter was surfing the Internet, searching for Barbie dolls, games designed for children, and other things of interest to 8-year-old girls, when something bad popped up on the screen. She may not have understood what she saw, but she knew it was bad and so she called Mom and Dad.
You can probably guess what popped on the screen. That's right, a page with explicit, graphic pornography. But wait, there's more. It gets worse.
Bookmarks for "mature porn" also popped up all over the computer, placed everywhere from the desktop to the Quick Links toolbar of the browser, to the Favorites area in Internet Explorer -- and these links appeared for all three users who can login to this system. The browser was also redirected, or "hijacked" to display an explicit porn site as the home page, and any attempt to change it back were to no avail. An application also started running secretly in the background, ensuring any attempts to remove these links would be replaced.
When spyware crosses the line
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