A new strain of adware on the internet that will upload your personal information to remote servers without your consent. According to Lawrence Abraham’s post over at Bleeping Computer, the adware, dubbed Faster Internet records a wide range of machine-specific data before bundling it with a screenshot of your computer before uploading it to the developer’s server.
Faster Internet Creates a Machine Specific Signature
This malicious adware performs most of its malice during installation. IT will create a fingerprint signature with your motherboard, hard drive, CPU and other hardware component’s details and upload it to the developer’s server.
Since the software works to fast, it will do its harm long before your antivirus discovers it. It is, however, no guarantee that your best free antivirus will notice it at first glance. Most the free antivirus versions take a while before adapting to zero-day exploits.
You might have a better chance if you are running veteran antivirus like Kaspersky or ESET Smart Security.
What if Your Screenshot has Personal Information?
The greatest risk is if your PC has some confidential information splashed on your screen during the installation. The screenshot will gain access to all that information. It could be a social security number on tax returns documents or a couple of private images.
Corporates and big players are skeptical about fighting malware that pose no immediate harm to any machine. To them, adware is just but a nuisance that the user can or has to bear with.
This is a great misconception as most PC users without elaborate malware and adware protection waste time fiddling with adverts rather than doing what they come to do online. The internet could be a more efficient place with less adware and malware.
How Can You Stay Safe from Such Exploits
The best way to staying safe from adware and similar exploits is by ensuring that your PC is ever running an up to date antivirus. If you can get the commercial antivirus, the better. If you are running free versions, you should consider an extra wall of malware scanners and ad blockers.
With most of the adware and spyware disguising themselves as part of a website, it is always wise to run an ad blocker on websites you don’t trust. If you download stuff often, you should always ensure that you are clicking on actual download links, not adverts.