How Tenebril SpyCatcher Works

By: Ben Sikes

Spyware is a danger on any computer with access to the Internet. Software to detect and remove spyware is readily available and should always be installed, along with anti-virus software, to protect the computer and the user.

Spyware, as it's name suggests, spies on PC user habits. The mildest types are really little more than a nuisance, popping up advertising according to the type of websites visited. At its worst, spyware can damage system files and steal passwords or other personal information.

Tenebril SpyCatcher is a well recommended anti-spyware program. It's attractive and easy to use interface disguises powerful and effective spyware elimination techniques, with features including:

&bull database regularly updated from research and user input

&bull blocking re-installation of spyware

&bull "Deep Defense" protection, embeds into the operating system

&bull advanced algorithms to prevent false positive identifications

&bull behavioral detection to catch mutating or new spyware

&bull compatibility with Windows 2000 or newer, Pentium 350MHz or faster, 64MB RAM and 16MB hard disk space

&bull download and CD options

SpyCatcher Express is the free version of the software, available to download from Tenebril's website. The paid version, currently called SpyCatcher 2006 includes several additional features:

&bull automatic updates

&bull background scans

&bull submit reports for analysis

&bull anti-phishing protection

&bull Hosts File Analyzer

&bull AD (Active Directory) and workgroup compatibility

&bull option to buy multiple licenses

&bull one or two year subscription package

SpyCatcher's methods may confuse some - it allows spyware to install but then quarantines it when it attempts to do anything, before removing it on the next removal scan. This is how the behavioral learning of the program works - reading spyware programs installed and analyzing them in order to detect any new installations that display characteristics of spyware.

Upon detecting a new item of spyware, licensed users may submit a report to Tenebril. This is then used alongside in-house research to ensure the database is always kept right up to date.

SpyCatcher has a suspicious file wizard, to help in the identification of spyware and to check against the Tenebril database. It also protects against phishing, or fake, websites by checking page definitions and URLs and warning if the page does not appear legitimate.

A great feature of SpyCatcher is the Deep Defense protection. Sometimes, spyware fixes itself into the operating system even though it has been detected by a removal program, ready to to jump back into action after a reboot. The Parachute feature protects the PC on startup. SpyCatcher loads ahead of the computers boot sequence, checking for spyware as it goes. If it detects anything, it will boot the PC in Safe Mode, delete the offending program, then reboot normally.

It's likely that on revisiting a site, which gave away, its spyware on the last visit, the same infection will be picked up again. Not with SpyCatcher. It works to make sure that no spyware is allowed to come back into a system once it's already been on that hard disk.

The National Cyber Security Alliance's research suggests that 90 percent of PCs become prey to spyware. This is all the more a good reason to install a program like SpyCatcher.

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