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Scumware definition

Scumware is a malicious or undesirable software application that engages in unethical or deceptive practices. It’s designed to generate revenue for their creators through fraudulent means.

Scumware is not a widely recognized term in cybersecurity or software development and is closely related in meaning to the term malware. Usually, scumware is replaced by more established terms like spyware, adware, unethical software, etc.

See also: adware, spyware, browser hijacker, potentially unwanted application

Examples of scumware

  • Adware. Adware programs display excessive or intrusive advertisements to users without consent. They may also collect user data without permission and use it for targeted advertising.
  • Spyware. Spyware secretly gathers information about a user’s online activities, such as websites visited, keystrokes, and personal information. This data is often used for malicious purposes, including identity theft or selling to third parties.
  • Browser hijackers. These programs modify a user’s web browser settings without their consent, changing the homepage, search engine, or displaying unwanted ads. Browser hijackers can make it difficult for users to revert to their preferred browser settings.
  • Malware. Viruses, Trojans, and worms designed to harm a user’s computer, steal sensitive information, or perform other malicious actions.
  • PUAs (potentially unwanted applications). These software applications may have legitimate functions but are often bundled with other software and installed without the user’s full knowledge or consent. PUAs include toolbars, browser extensions, or system optimizers that may not be beneficial and can lead to a degraded user experience.

Further reading

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