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- FreeBooterSite Admin
OS : Windows 10
Arch. : x64 (64-bit)
Anti-Malware : ESET Smart Security
Posts : 2148
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What is Stealware
Stealware refers to a type of malware that covertly transfers money or data to a third party. Stealware is software that modifies affiliate tracking codes, replaces affiliate cookies on a users computer or "overlays" links on a web site with another affiliates tracking link - resulting in payments going to another person or company.
As with adware and spyware, companies that create this software "piggy back" it onto applications such as toolbars, P2P applications and other freeware. Stealware is installed as part of the setup process for the main application and usually without the users full knowledge. Even if the user does remove the main application, in many cases the stealware will remain, thieving commissions from hard working affiliates for as long as it remains on the system.
Stealthware is illegal and creates threat to user’s privacy. It also has some properties from spyware.
Stealware can also engage in "cookie stuffing". This is the process by which the software places hundreds of cookies of other merchants affiliate programs on a users computer. If that user then visits those sites and makes a purchase, the stealware powered affiliate receives the commissions.
Some very large, well known companies are reported to be involved in this activity. Given that roughly 15 to 20 percent of all online sales occur as a result of referrals from affiliates, it's easy to understand why companies spend the time and money on developing these ingenious and sinister software applications.
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