More than Annoying Ads: AdBreak Spyware

Adware refers to applications that are often bundled with other programs and designed to display web-based advertisements.  They are typically distributed at a much lower cost or for no cost at all as the primary source of revenue comes from displaying the ads instead of actually selling the program.  Although most forms of adware function with the sole purpose of flooding your computer monitor with advertisements, a few of them serve as rather useful tools.  One such example is the Opera Web Browser, a popular application that displayed a tiny pop-up advertisement until the product was registered.  While Opera has since become a freeware application, many ad-sponsored programs remain quite common. 

In many instances, adware remains in the category of unwanted and potentially harmful software.  It is often bundled with keyloggers and other spyware features opposed to a useful web browser like Opera. 

What is AdBreak?

AdBreak is an ad-supported program, more specificially, a BHO (browser helper object) that is typically installed without a victim's knowledge or consent.  Like most spyware, it is often bundled with shareware or freeware applications and automatically installed with the legitimate program.  AdBreak uses web browser exploits to initialize forced and hidden installations. 

It has the ability to modify a user's browser settings, hijack web pages and redirect them to irrelevant or compromised internet locations, display unsolicited pop advertisements, create new button links and toolbars and consume a great amount of bandwidth which slows down system performance. 

This type of spyware has the ability to establish outside internet connections, which is usually done to download updates to a system or report captured data to remote affiliates.  AdBreak often displays offensive advertisements without the presence of an active web browser and tracks a user's web surfing and shopping habits, data generally gathered to make way for targeted advertising.  

Any type of adware that does not attain an explicit agreement from the user, does not disclose the data it will collect or whom it will be sent to, displays advertisements in a disruptive manner, or secretly install other programs is rightfully termed as spyware and constitutes as an invasion of a user's policy.  While mild types of adware generally will not compromise the security of a computer, more aggressive forms such as AdBreak are known for performing illegal operations.  This program has been reported to silently download other programs such as Trojan horses and keystroke loggers.  The AdBreak program has been a major problem for many users and proven to be rather dangerous. 

Removing AdBreak

Sometimes, ridding your system of spyware is as simple as going to the "Add/Remove Programs" area of your computer and manually removing it.  Unfortunately, AdBreak is often completely embedded into a system, making the process of removal nearly impossible.  The good thing is that plenty of anti-spyware and anti-malware solutions are available and ready to take care of the problem for you.  These programs will run a thorough scan of your system in search of spyware, complete destroy them and help to keep them out.  

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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser