Stories by Andrew Brandt

Sinister new spyware threats emerge

Two revelations this week about new threats related to spyware illustrate how the growing problem of invasive adware and spyware has taken a sinister turn for the worse.

Three minutes with Spybot's Patrick Kolla

SAN FRANCISCO (04/05/2004) - Patrick M. Kolla wrote Spybot Search & Destroy, a free download that is one of PC World's most recommended programs. Spybot is an anti-spyware scanner that finds and cleans out adware on your PC so your private information can't be transmitted. The software is so popular worldwide that user donations support Kolla's company, Safer Networking Limited, which he runs with part-time help from his father, Dr. Michael Kolla, and a group of computer science students called Team Spybot. Kolla, 26, lives in Germany 300 steps from the Safer Networking office that takes up a floor in his parents' home. An edited transcript of the February 23, 2004, conversation follows.

A latte, a WiFi link and a hacker

If you have ever connected to the Internet through a wireless hot spot at a Starbucks, McDonald's or other business, you know how convenient it can be. Unfortunately, the setup is convenient for other people, too — hackers intent on stealing your log-in information for their own use.

Calif. law protects us from security breaches

SAN FRANCISCO (09/22/2003) - No matter where you live in the United States, your protection against identity theft is about to get better. And you can thank the California legislature for that.

Sneaky apps attack

If you're beset by icons that appear in the system tray without warning, or by pop-up ads that run even when your browser isn't open, or by a mysteriously reconfigured browser, you aren't alone. The culprits--among them MemoryMeter and Rapidblaster--represent a new and more aggressive breed of application that's often called stealthware.

Intel tool prevents CPU fraud

In Intel's latest move to deter fraudulent "remarkers" of its processors, the company has released a free software application that can let you know if the chip you bought has been tampered with