US-CERT talks spyware

US-CERT is addressing the issue of spyware. According to Spyware Confidential, they’ve released a document (pdf) on the matter, including techniques to guard against spyware. Education and awareness are two elements that are highly emphasized.

Among their recommendations:

1. Don’t trust unknown or known high-risk sources.
2. Read the fine print.
3. Pay attention when installing applications.
4. Keep operating systems and software patched.
5. If you are running Windows XP, install Service Pack 2.
6. Use trusted anti-virus and anti-spyware tools.
7. Alternative internet applications
8. Browser configuration.

Sounds like a good start – being current on patches is crucial as many spyware apps install through browser exploits. Also on the antivirus front, many antivirus vendors are adding spyware detection in their definitions. I’ve long suggested to people that if they visit sites they may not trust to use something other than Internet Explorer.

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